Top News: Badie and 682 Brotherhood Members’ Trial Adjourned to April 28

The head of the Minya criminal court, Said Youssef, says he will issue a verdict on April 28 in a new mass trial of 683 suspected Islamist supporters of the ousted president Mohamed Morsi for murder and attempted murder after a single session boycotted by defense lawyers.

Sisi says Egypt still on way to building modern democratic state
Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Tuesday that Egypt is still very much on its way to building a modern democratic country that satisfies all Egyptians and meets their demands and future aspirations. According to a statement made by the army’s official spokesman, Sisi said that Egypt’s security and peace lie in an army that is strong, able and prepared to exert its utmost effort with devotion, sincerity and honor. Amid speculation that Sisi will announce his campaign soon a military spokesman announced that they army has discovered around 1,500 persons unofficially campaigning on behalf of Sisi and collecting illegal donations. The military warned against misusing the identity of the defense minister or abusing the name of the military, stressing that such illegal acts would be prosecuted by law. [Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online 3/25/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Pope Tawadros denies telling Kuwaiti TV that Sisi must run for president | Mada Masr
  • Politicians and rights activists demand invoking article sixteen in the constitution | AMAY


Badie and 682 Brotherhood members’ trial adjourned to April 28
The head of the Minya criminal court, Said Youssef, says he will issue a verdict on April 28 in a new mass trial of 683 suspected Islamist supporters of the ousted president Mohamed Morsi for murder and attempted murder after a single session boycotted by defense lawyers. The defendants include Mohamed Badie, the supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as other leaders from the group in the Adwa area of Minya. They are accused of raiding public establishments, including Adwa police station, disturbing the peace and terrorizing people. In the absence of defense lawyers, the court heard testimony from police officials before adjourning the trial until next month. Youssef went ahead with the session on Tuesday, hearing witnesses in the case despite the lawyers’ absence. The same judge sentenced 529 defendants to death on Monday in a similar mass trial, which lasted only two sessions. [Mada Masr, Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, Ahram Online, AP, AMAY (Arabic) 3/25/2014]

Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis ’terrorist’ ruling set for mid-April
The Cairo Court for Urgent Matters announced Monday that it would decide whether to categorize the Sinai militant group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABAM) as a terrorist organization on April 14. Monday was the first hearing for a lawsuit asking the cabinet to declare ABAM a terrorist group, Al-Ahram reported. In December, the Egyptian cabinet declared the Muslim Brotherhood, which has denied any relations to Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, a terrorist organization. The Cairo Court for Urgent Matters legalized the decision on February 24. The group has been very active in the northern Sinai since the ouster of Mohamed Morsi last July. [DNE 3/25/2014]

Egypt court orders retrial for ten officers cleared of killing protesters in 2011
Egypt’s Court of Cassation ordered on Monday the retrial of fourteen men, including ten police officers, who were previously acquitted of killing protesters during the 2011 uprising in the city of Suez. The police officers – including Suez’s police chief and a low ranking policeman – along with a businessman and his two sons were accused of killing protesters during the period from January 25 until president Hosni Mubarak’s ouster on February 11, over which at least 840 protesters were killed. To date, Egypt’s judiciary has failed to convict anyone belonging to the security apparatus for murder during the 2011 protests. [Ahram Online, 3/24/2014]

Wife of police officer killed in Minya says man responsible is not among the 529 sentenced
The wife of Mustafa al-Attar, the police officer killed in Minya on August 14, says that the man responsible for his death was not among the 529 defendants sentenced to death on Monday for his murder. According to his wife, Attar, was injured and transferred to a hospital in Mattay. Speaking to presenter, Amr Adib, on his television show, Al-Qahera al-Youm she claimed a doctor, belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood who has since fled the country, was responsible for his death. [Shorouk (Arabic), 3/25/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Mubarak retrial to resume Tuesday | Egypt Independent
  • Morsi son and friend referred to Tanta criminal court for drug abuse | AMAY (Arabic)
  • Egyptian court to begin retrial of steel tycoon Ahmed Ezz in April | Ahram Online


CAPMAS: 21.4 percent decline in trade balance deficit
Egypt’s trade balance deficit reached EGP18.04 billion ($2.5 billion) in December 2013, state-run statistical body CAPMAS reported on Monday. The figure represented a 21.2 percent drop compared to the same month in 2012, when the deficit stood at EGP22.9 billion ($3.2 billion). The value of Egypt’s exports in November 2013 declined three percent from the previous year, recording LE16.8 billion ($2.4 billion). [Egypt Independent, Ahram Online, 3/24/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Gas imports should arrive by August, assures petrol minister | Mada Masr
  • Egypt stocks dip on Monday as investors continue profit taking | Ahram Online
  • Egypt to launch electricity saving mobile app | Ahram Online
  • Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development invests $412m in Egypt | DNE


Protests over Brotherhood trials in Alexandria and Cairo
Police fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of demonstrators gathered on Tuesday at Alexandria University to protest against mass trials of Muslim Brotherhood members, a Reuters witness said. According to Al-Masry Al-Youm, dozens of students at Cairo University organized human chains inside the university denouncing yesterday’s verdict in Minya. Following a flood of commentary on the verdict, Egypt’s Deputy Mufti Ibrahim Negm stressed on Tuesday that media comments on recent death sentences lack truth. Negm added on Dar al-Ifta’s official account that the media should only take into account official statements made by its spokesman. He urged media outlets to be responsible in their reporting and abide by accuracy and objectivity in covering the events. Several prominent media members celebrated the verdict. [Reuters,  AMAY (Arabic), Mada Masr, Aswat Masriya 3/25/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • AFTE demands transparency in fact-finding committees | DNE
  • Suez residents lambast postal worker strike | DNE
  • 1,044 protests in February: Democracy Meter | DNE


Army spokesman says authorities arrest twenty-six terrorists
Egyptian authorities arrested twenty-six terrorists and criminals in security operations across the country on Monday, Egypt’s army spokesman Ahmed Ali said. Ali added in an official statement earlier that twenty-one suspects were arrested in security operations in northern Sinai alone. He added that the authorities also confiscated arms and vehicles that were being prepped for use in terrorist activities. Fourteen tunnels into Rafah were also demolished earlier today, the spokesman added. [Aswat Masriya, 3/24/2014]

Also of Interest:


Adly Mansour to focus on fighting terrorism at Arab Summit
Adly Mansour, Egypt’s interim president, will address the Arab Summit Tuesday evening. According to Al-Sharq Al-Awasat Mansour’s remarks will focus on combatting terrorism in the region. Mansour recently announced during a television interview that he planned to urge regional powers to commit to fighting terrorism. He is also expected to discuss Egypt’s current political process. On Tuesday’s Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hammad bin Khalifa al-Thani, called on Egypt to start a “political dialogue,” an implicit criticism of the crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist group that Qatar backs and of which Islamist President Mohamed Morsi is a member.| Shorouk (Arabic),| AMAY (Arabic), AP 3/25/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • EU’s Ashton criticizes collective death sentence in Egypt | Ahram Online
  • United States ‘deeply concerned’ by Egypt death sentences | Ahram Online
  • Concern and condemnation as Egypt court sentences 529 to death | DNE
  • UN says mass Egyptian death sentences contravene international law | Reuters
  • EU freezes four bank accounts linked to Gamal Mubarak | Mada Masr
  • Foreign minister meets with Sudanese counterpart at Arab Summit | DNE