Cairo Criminal Court acquits officers accused of killing protesters

The Cairo Criminal Court Monday acquitted Mohamed Rasekh and Mohamed Deweidar, two police officers facing charges of the attempted murder of two protesters on 28 January 2011 during the uprising against the rule of ousted President Hosni Mubarak.  

The case of Rasekh, who was head of the Salam City Investigations unit at the department, and Deweidar, an investigative assistant in the unit, was filed by civil rights attorneys and dismissed by a judge in a session Monday afternoon.

It was attended by the officers’ defense team only; the officers and the plaintiffs were not present.

During the previous trial session, Youssef Salama, one of the plaintiffs, withdrew his statements, telling the judge he had not seen the person who shot him. Salama said that he lives near the Salam City Police Department and that on 28 January of last year, commonly known as the “Friday of Rage,” he was shot in the leg as protesters surrounded the building.

Salama went on to say that he did not want to accuse any of the officers, as he had not seen the accused officers outside the unit or the person who had shot him.

After the officers had been accused in the investigation, Salama said he learned that they had not been present at the unit during the time of the shooting, as they had been dispatched. Salama also said that a number of his neighbors and protesters corroborated their absence.

In January, the North Cairo Criminal Court acquitted Captain Islam Saeed Hafez, an officer at the Ain Shams police department, of the charge of killing one protester during last year’s uprising.

In late December, another court acquitted six policemen from the Sayeda Zeinab police station of similar charges.

The only policeman to be issued the death penalty, Mohamed Ibrahim Abdel Moneim, is currently undergoing a retrial.

At least 800 people were killed during the 18 days of protests that toppled Mubarak last February, and more than 6,000 were wounded by live ammunition, rubber bullets, water cannons and batons.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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