Court in Cairo suspends trial of 6 defendants in judge’s assassination attempt

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Cairo Criminal Court suspended trial Sunday, for six defendants accused of detonating an explosive device under the car of the head of the of the Rabaa operations room, Moataz Khafagy. Media reports labeled the suspects as “Muslim Brotherhood members”

The incident took place in May 2015, damaging five cars in the vicinity of the explosion and injuring a civilian who was close to the scene. Khafagy survived the attempt.

The general prosecution had suspended the trial of six alleged members of the Muslim Brotherhood to the criminal court. Khafagy is looking into several cases involving “terrorist cells,” which are said to be affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.

In the last three years, Egypt has witnessed an increase in attacks that target officials, police officers, and judges who are involved in the nationwide crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood. The crackdown came after the July 2013 oust of elected president Mohammed Morsi, senior member of the Brotherhood.

The incident was not the first attempt to target a judge. In June 2015, Egypt’s Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat was killed by a car bomb in front of his house in Cairo. Brotherhood members were accused of the crime.

The Rabaa operations room is one of several mass trials that have been conducted after the oust of former president Morsi. It has received widespread international criticism from human rights groups, media organisations, and foreign governments due to the nature of the trials the inclusion of journalists and foreign nationals.

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