Egyptian trial adjourns in NGO case

April 12, 2012 at 12:26 AM
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CAIRO, April 12 (UPI) -- The third session in a trial of 43 people in Egypt accused of working for American aid groups that took foreign funds without government consent has adjourned.

Those charged in the case have also been accused of promoting unrest in Egypt, al-Masry al-Youm reported.

Judge Makram Awwad oversaw the hearing Monday in the New Cairo Court after a change in judges was made since the last hearing because of allegations of interference in judicial appointments and the lifting of a travel ban imposed on the foreign defendants in March.

In total, 15 defendants showed up at the hearing -- 14 Egyptians and a U.S. national who chose not to fly out of the country with the other foreign defendants.

During the hearing, lawyers for the defendants made vocal interruptions, the newspaper said.

One lawyer demanded the release of Omar Abdel Rahman, an Egyptian serving a life sentence in the United States on charges of conspiracy, saying "we are not less worthy than Americans."

Another lawyer called for former spy chief and presidential candidate Omar Suleiman be added to the list of defendants because "the illegal establishment of the National Democracy Institute and the Republican Institute happened with his knowledge and this amounts to espionage."

The judge said after adjourning the case that the court will would clear its schedule and hear only this case beginning from April 18.

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