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Egyptian Panel Drops Maspero Massacre Case for ‘Lack of Evidence’

ICC Note:

“On April 24 the panel of judges appointed by the Egyptian minister of justice to investigate the Maspero massacre of October 9, 2011 which claimed the lives of 27 Christians and injured 329, closed the case,” the Assyrian International News Agency reports.

By Mary Abdelmassih

4/28/2012 Egypt (AINA) – On April 24 the panel of judges appointed by the Egyptian minister of justice to investigate the Maspero massacre of October 9, 2011 (AINA 10-10-2011), which claimed the lives of 27 Christians and injured 329, closed the case. In his explanation of the verdict, judge Sarwat Hammad said the case was closed for "lack of identification of the culprits" who killed the army conscript Mohammad Shata and nine protesters (all Christians) with ammunition, as well as attempting to break into a government building and assaulting military personnel.

Charges against 28 Christian Copts and prominent Muslim activist Alaa Abdel-Fatah, who were previously detained, were also dropped for lack of evidence, said the judge. According to their defense lawyers, most of the detainees were arrested after October 9, and some were not even at the Maspero protest and were collected from the streets for just being Christians. Three of them were teens under 16 (AINA 11-5-2011).

The judge referred two Copts, Michael Adel Naguib and Michael Shaker, to the criminal court for allegedly stealing a heavy-duty machine gun from one of the military armored vehicle and "using it to kill Copts" during the Maspero protest. According to Naguib's father, the army and police raided their home in the early hours two days after the massacre and found nothing at home. He said they beat his son and took him away in his underwear (AINA 11-5-2011).

Commenting on the panel's report, attorney Said Fayez, one of the Maspero defense team, said sarcastically "I am happy that we were able to prove the innocence of the Coptic defendants of killing their Coptic brothers." He said the rights of those killed have been denied by a judiciary that is just filling space. "We said all along that it was just a show and this is the outcome we got, but the families of the victims will never forsake the rights of their children." He vowed to continue with the case until the victims receive justice.

[Full Story]

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