On Sunday, the Alexandria Criminal Court ordered the release of political activist Hassan Mustafa pending trial.
Mustafa was arrested in January and remained in jail for six months. He was charged with helping ten detainees escape custody, and insulting and assaulting a public employee.
Hamdy Khalaf, one of the lawyers defending Mustafa in court, said the defence team requested postponing the trial and releasing Mustafa. The trial was postponed until 2 September.
Khalaf denied that Mustafa helped any detainees escape. The detainees were arrested for blocking the railway. They were protesting the Badrashein train crash which occurred in January, killing at least 19 conscripts.
“Abdel Mawgood Lotfy, who was then Alexandria Security Director, came to the scene of clashes and asked people to calm down and promised that the ten detainees would be released,” Khalaf said.
Khalaf said the policeman whom Mustafa is accused of assaulting denied that Mustafa helped the detainees escape. He added that the decision to release Mustafa confirms his innocence.
Mohamed Salem, Mustafa’s brother, claimed Mustafa was the victim of a plot by the prosecution and security forces to round-up certain political activists.
“We hope this is a new era in dealing with political activists,” Khalaf said.
Protesters gathered outside Al-Mansheya court, where Mustafa was being tried, on Sunday morning to voice their solidarity with the detained political activists, Salem said. He added that the trial took place amid maximum security measures.
The political activist was released on the latter charge in early July after Darwish withdrew his complaint. He remained in preventive detention on the charge of helping detainees escape.