People’s Assembly summons justice minister over ‘Battle of the Camel’

People’s Assembly Speaker Saad al-Katatny on Tuesday summoned Justice Minister Adel Abdel Hamid to respond to accusations that the Court of Appeals hid one of the files concerning the attack on protesters on 2 February 2011, known as the “Battle of the Camel.”

The decision came as a response to charges made by Wasat Party MP Essam Sultan on Tuesday against Cairo Court of Appeals head Abdel Moez Ibrahim, accusing him of hiding the Battle of the Camel file.

“The matter is serious and needs a quick response from the justice minister…He must appear immediately before the Parliament to give a statement on the subject,” Katatny said.

Sultan had submitted an urgent statement in which he said, “After submitting a request to change the court panel overseeing the case, Abdel Moez Ibrahim hid the case file for 70 days in violation of the trial proceedings law, and despite refusal of the change request, the file has yet to be returned to the court headed by Judge Mostafa Abdullah.”

On 20 February, the Cairo Court of Appeals rejected a lawsuit filed by Mortada Mansour, a former MP and defendant in the Battle of the Camel case, requesting that the judges in the case be changed. Mansour filed a new lawsuit that is expected to be up for consideration in May.

The mass attacks on peaceful demonstrators on 2 February last year made use of thousands of paid thugs, some of whom were riding horses and a camel, causing the media to name the attacks the Battle of the Camel. Prominent Mubarak-era figures are accused of being involved in the attacks.

Among those being tried are Safwat al-Sherif, the former secretary general of the now-dissolved National Democratic Party (NDP), Fathi Sorour, the former parliamentary speaker, and businessman Ibrahim Kamel.

According to investigations, Sherif organized pro-Mubarak marches that intentionally clashed with anti-regime protesters during the 25 January revolution.

Investigations also found that Sherif contacted former NDP MPs to request that protesters be dispersed by force, even if this meant they would be killed.

Former Minister of Manpower Aisha Abdel Hady and former MP and businessman Mohamed Abul Einein are also accused of involvement and were present at the first trial session.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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