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Judge survives assassination attempt in Helwan - Daily News Egypt

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Judge survives assassination attempt in Helwan

Judge Moataz Khafaga handles Muslim Brotherhood cases, fingers point to the group for attack

Judge Moataz Khafaga survived an attempt on his life, after a car bomb exploded in front of his house in Helwan Sunday morning, officials said.

There were no reported injuries. Three cars were destroyed, in addition to damages to the façade of the building.

A man was arrested as a suspect in the crime, who state-run media said was a pharmacist. Prosecutor-General Hisham Barakat ordered investigations into the incident.

Media reports have already labelled the suspect as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, claiming that the attack was probably in relation to the cases involving Brotherhood figures that Khafaga is in charge of.

Khafaga, the head of Giza Criminal Court, was due to oversee Sunday the trial of 21 members of the football fan group Ultras White Knights, accused of an assassination attempt on the president of the Zamalek Club.

Also Sunday, the “missile cell” trial was called off due to the attack on Khafaga. In that case 36 defendants are accused of establishing a “terrorist cell”, seeking to destabilise the state, attempted murder and possession of unlicensed weapons, grenades and other explosives. The case, in which 14 of the accused are evading authorities, has been put back to 8 June.

Further, Khafaga is looking into several cases involving terrorism suspects, which the state believes are affiliated to the banned Muslim Brotherhood organisation.

Among the cases is the trial of 20 defendants accused of belonging to an illegal armed group operating against security agents in Egypt, “Ajnad Misr“, as well as the trial of 31 defendants accused of killing Shi’a cleric Hassan Shehata and three others.

The judge previously sentenced 12 defendants to death, five to life in prison, and acquitted one person of charges for the killing of former Giza security chief Nabil Farrag in Kerdasa in 2014. The court of cassation accepted an appeal on the verdict this year. The trial is currently ongoing, and the next session will be held this month.

Khafaga also handed five defendants death penalties on charges of forming a terrorist cell in 6th of October City and targeting and killing security officers. The verdict was upheld in September 2014.


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