The Cairo Appeals Court refused Monday a request demanding the removal of the judge in the ‘Rabaa Operations room’ retrial, leading to the continuation of the case after it was suspended for one day.
The demand was presented to the court by the defence team of Mohamed Badie, supreme guide of the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood, arguing the flawed legal status of the court. As a result of the refusal, Badie will have to pay a fine of EGP 2,000. On Sunday the court decided to look into the demand and suspended the retrial.
The retrial involves at least 50 defendants, including prominent Muslim Brotherhood members, such as former spokesmen Mahmoud Ghozlan and Gehad El-Haddad. A number of the detainees in the case have gone on hunger strike, including US citizen Mohamed Soltan, who was reportedly on hunger strike for over 300 days. Soltan is currently in the US after being deported following his rescinding of his Egyptian nationality.
The defendants in the case include 14 journalists and media workers, 13 of whom received life sentences and one who received the death penalty. These include board members of the Rassd news network Abdullah Al-Fakharany and Samhy Mostafa, along with the head of Al-Aqsa channel, Ahmed Sebai, who was sentenced to life in prison.
The prosecution accused the defendants of setting up an “operations room” for the Rabaa Al-Adaweya sit-in in 2013 and giving orders to the protesters, which created “nationwide chaos”.
Also on Monday, Badie stood trial in front of a court at the Police Academy in the case involving post-Rabaa Al-Adaweya sit-in violence in Ismailia. Badie is charged with inciting supporters to burn government buildings. The case will continue on Tuesday.
He is also a defendant in several cases where he is charged with committing and inciting violence.