Egyptian court adjourns Hezbollah case

Egypt on Sunday adjourned case of 26 men over links with Lebanon's Hezbollah for two months at the request of defence lawyers.

Egyptian court adjourns Hezbollah case

Egypt on Sunday adjourned case of 26 men over links with Lebanon's Hezbollah for two months at the request of defence lawyers.

Egypt's announcement in April that it had detained the men heightened tensions with the Lebanese group, which this year accused the Egyptian authorities of complicity with Israel in its siege of Gaza.

Rights groups say Egypt has used "exceptional" courts like emergency and military courts to secure guilty verdicts and point to swift and often harsh sentences passed by the courts.

Egypt's state news agency MENA said the case against the two Lebanese, five Palestinians and 19 Egyptians would resume at the emergency state security court on October 24.

"We live and die as Egyptians. We will never betray our country," several of the Egyptian defendants declared in unison from the cage in which they were held in court, as the charges were read out.

Others chanted during proceedings: "We sacrifice ourselves to you, oh messenger of God," refering to the Prophet Mohammad.

Lawyer Saad Hasaballah said four men were being tried in absentia and two others were not present in court on Sunday.

The men being tried include two Lebanese, five Palestinians and one Sudanese. The rest are Egyptian.

Among those being tried in absentia is Lebanese citizen Mohamed Qublan. Another Lebanese, Sami Chehab, also named Mohamed Youssef Mansour Ahmed, was in court.

Charges against the two Lebanese included helping financially the group.

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in April that Chehab was a member of the Lebanese group but had been in Egypt helping Palestinians in their fight against Israel.

Nasrallah said Chehab had been being helped by up to 10 others but said others detained by the Egyptian authorities had no link to Chehab.

Judge Adel Abdel-Salem Gomaa referred one ed for medical checks after he said he had been tortured.

Under Egypt's Emergency Law the verdicts of the state security court may not be appealed and only the president may order a retrial or change the verdicts.


Agencies

Last Mod: 24 Ağustos 2009, 09:16
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