CAIRO: The defense team representing Hassan Abdel Rahman, former state security chief currently on trial for complicity in killing protesters alongside ousted President Hosni Mubarak, said Thursday that the evidence against his client was "circumstantial".
However, Samir Helmy, one of the lawyers representing the victims’ families strongly refuted such claims, saying that the evidence was strong and could lead to an indictment.
"All the CDs and videos included in the evidence prove that police forces used excessive violence against protesters and they can’t do anything without orders," Helmy told Daily News Egypt.
According to the official Middle East News Agency (MENA), Abdel Rahman’s defense lawyers had also said that some of the protesters were not "peaceful" in their quest to bring down the state and the police force.
They pointed out that the attacks on police stations and security directorates country wide were organized and synchronized, insinuating that they were pre-planned to bring down the whole state, not just to topple Mubarak’s regime.
Yet Helmy questioned why the so-called “foreign agents”, who defense lawyers claim planned those attacks and ignited the revolution, have still not been apprehended.
“Where are they?" asked Helmy.
While a fact finding mission said 846 were killed during the 18-day uprising, Mubarak, former interior minister Habib El-Adly and six of his aides are charged with complicity in the killing of 225 who were targeted in public squares, not in front of police stations.
Defense lawyers argued that this was "circumstantial criteria" to differentiate between "peaceful" and "violent" protesters, which cannot be proven.
Hey added that there was evidence that some police officers acted in self-defense against attackers who targeted them and police headquarters.
The trial was adjourned to Saturday.
On Wednesday, Abdel Rahman’s lawyers demanded that four officials from the State Security Investigations (SSI) be summoned to testify in the case.
They also questioned the time of death of many of the protesters and the accuracy of the findings of the investigation, calling on the court to re-investigate these findings.
On Tuesday the lawyers representing General Adly Fayed, former deputy interior minister in charge of public safety, said that their client did not give orders to central security forces to use live ammunition against peaceful protesters during the January uprising.
His lawyers added that the crime lacked intent, as the defendants didn’t know any of the protesters personally, nor did they have any connection with them.
In order to be convicted with first degree murder, intent must be proven, the lawyers argued.
"The defendants held a meeting on Jan. 22, 2011 before the revolt to set a plan to handle protests scheduled for Jan. 25 and the protesters were faced with excessive force … that proves intent," said Helmy.
Mubarak did not attend Tuesday’s court hearing. It was announced that poor weather conditions prevented the helicopter from transporting him to court from the military hospital where he is currently held.
This was the first time the ousted president misses a court session, which he attends lying on a gurney.
Following deadly protests triggered by an attack on Ahly club football fans in Port Said last week which killed 71, Egypt’s interior minister said that Mubarak will be transferred to Tora prison hospital as soon as it is fitted to accommodate his medical condition.
Some have pointed the blame for the organized football violence on ex-regime figures held in Tora, who they accused of plotting the attack as part of the counter-revolution. Protesters and MPs have also blamed the police for facilitating the attack. The current minister of interior and other security chiefs have since been heavily criticized in parliament.