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EGYPT: Clashes erupt outside courthouse as ex-minister’s trial is adjourned

June 26, 2011 | 11:20 am

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Scores of family members of Egyptians killed during the revolution that overthrew President Hosni Mubarak clashed with police and military forces Sunday after the trial of the country's former Interior Minister was adjourned until July 25.

Relatives hurled stones at police and military officers after a hearing in the trial of former Interior Minister Habib Adli and seven of his aides for their alleged roles in the shooting of protesters during the 18-day revolution that began Jan. 25. Sunday's melee damaged several security vehicles and injured a number of police and military personnel, though no serious injuries were reported.

“The people want the execution of the killer,” relatives of victims chanted outside the courthouse in the New Cairo suburb. Upon hearing of the adjournment, families who were conducting a sit-in in downtown Cairo blocked the main road leading to the state radio and television headquarters.

On April 20, a fact-finding commission found that at least 846 people were killed during the popular uprising that ousted Mubarak. It blamed Adli and his feared state security services for the deaths. The commission’s report added that Mubarak was indirectly involved in the shooting of protesters. The former 83-year-old leader is expected to go on trial in August for those charges and for alleged financial crimes.

Adli had earlier been sentenced to 12 years in jail for financial corruption and abuse of power. However, families of dead and injured demonstrators are growing impatient about the delay in trying him for allegedly targeting protesters.

“We see no justification in the continuous postponement of a verdict against Adli and others responsible for killing our brothers and sisters. Such hindrance will force some to consider taking revenge with their own hands,” Mahmoud el Sayed, whose brother Mohamed was killed on Jan. 28, told Babylon and Beyond.

This is the second time Adli’s trial has been postponed. Similar clashes with police erupted after his first hearing in May.

-- Amro Hassan in Cairo

Photo: Angry family members of protesters who were killed during the revloution hurl stones at security vehicles. Credit: Agence France-Presse

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