The Cairo Criminal Court sentenced Wednesday revolutionary activist Ahmed Douma and 229 other defendants to life imprisonment and fined them in total EGP 17m. Also, 39 minors received 10-year prison sentences.
Douma defended himself on Wednesday’s session of the cabinet clashes trial, after lawyer Khaled Ali and the rest of the defence team retreated from the case following quarrels between them and Judge Nagy Shehata.
“If you will sentence me, I request an investigation into the killing of Sheikh Emad Effat, Ahmed Abdel Hady, and anyone else killed during the incident of the cabinet clashes,” Douma asked the court. Shehata’s reply asked Douma if he was their lawyer, according to Nada Saad Eldin, a lawyer observing the trial.
During his pleas, Douma purportedly said that he does not trust in the fairness of the trial, according to Saad Eldin.
“Watch it,” Shehata reportedly told Douma.
Defence lawyer said they would appeal the sentence.
The December 2011 cabinet clashes occurred after demonstrators organised a sit-in at the cabinet headquarters, protesting the appointment of Kamal El-Ganzoury as prime minister by the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF). Military forces attempted to disperse the sit-in, resulting in deadly violence, which lasted for four days.
All defendants on the case are facing charges of attacking the cabinet building and security personnel, as well as burning the Scientific Institute in Cairo in 2011. Douma was allegedly one of the sit-ins’ organisers, although he said that he was not present in the area when the violence started.
On 27 January, a Cairo appeals court upheld a three-year jail term for Douma in another case, along with activists Ahmed Maher, and Mohamed Adel. They faced charges of violating the Protest Law and assaulting police officers at the Abdeen Court in downtown Cairo.