Officer, 379 civilians to stand trial over November Interior Ministry clashes

Investigators have referred one officer and 379 civilians to criminal court over their alleged involvement in the clashes that erupted near Mohamed Mahmoud Street near the Interior Ministry in downtown Cairo last November.

Officer Mahmoud Sobhy al-Shennawy, who has had his custody detention renewed nine times, faces charges of attempting to murder five protesters. The rest of the defendants are accused of damaging public properties and assaulting authorities.

The clashes on Mohamed Mahmoud and other streets leading to the ministry erupted after security forces violently dispersed a protest in Tahrir Square by families of victims killed during last year’s uprising. The encounters left nearly 45 dead, with dozens of others reportedly injured by live ammunition and tear gas used by security forces.

Investigators said they relied on video clips that appear to show Shennawy — who activists call the “eye sniper” for target protesters’ eyes — shooting at demonstrations with an intention to kill them, in violation to protest dispersing procedures that stipulate targeting legs, if necessary.

Judicial sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the prosecutors had divided the case into four parts: Shennawy’s charges, assaults on public properties, setting Falaky school on fire during the clashes, and finally the death of 42 protesters.

The sources said the recent referral order concerns the first two parts of the case, while judges remain undecided on the last two parts.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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