Court rejects judge replacement request in espionage, prison break cases

Cairo Appeal Court rejected on Wednesday the judge replacement request submitted by Muslim Brotherhood figure Mohamed al-Beltagy and the pro-Brotherhood preacher Safwat Hegazy.

Both suspects, along with toppled President Mohamed Morsy and other Brotherhood members, are accused of spying for Hamas and escaping Wadi al-Natrun prison during 2011 revolution.

The memorandum on the judge replacement request mentioned that the court panel was formed by the Appeal Court, which violated article no. 30 of the judiciary law, which states that judges should be selected upon convention of the courts’ general assemblies.

The memorandum added that the court wasted guarantees for the suspects, who were surprised to be kept in divided iron cages covered with thick opaque glass to separate between them, preventing voices in the courtroom from being heard and depriving them from right to defend themselves or communicate with their defense.

“The court considers it a physical attendance, though the defendants were practically absent since they couldn’t hear or see what was happening outside of procedures and pleadings,” it said.

Members of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood are being tried over killing policemen, breaking into Egyptian prisons and spying for terrorists.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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