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Beltagy fined as landmark court cases rumble on

The Boulaq Court of Misdemeanors fined Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed al-Beltagy LE20,000 on charges of insulting Mortada Mansour, head of Zamalek sports club, the website of state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram reported.

Al-Akhbar Al-Youm journalist Fayza Amina Barakat was also fined alongside Beltagy.

The newspaper had published a statement quoting Beltagy claiming that Mansour stormed then Attorney General Talaat Abdalla’s office, forcing him to resign. However, detectives investigating the incident later said the allegations were false.

In another case, Cairo Criminal Court postponed former President Hosni Mubarak’s trial until next Monday.

Mubarak, his former interior minister, Habib al-Adly, and six of his deputies, are facing charges of inciting and conspiring to kill peaceful protesters in January and February 2011.

Mubarak also faces charges of financial corruption along with his two sons, Alaa and Gamal, and fugitive businessman Hussein Salem.

Cairo Criminal Court meanwhile decided to halt the trial of political activist Alaa Abd El Fattah and 24 others for demonstrating in front of the Shura Council in November last year.

The delay comes pending a reply to a request to change the judge, which was applied for by the accused’s lawyers.

Abd El Fattah was arrested after police raided his home on November 28. All other 24 defendants were released pending investigations, except for co-defendant Ahmed Abdel Rahman who remained in prison, along with Abd El Fattah, for over three months without a trial date.

On March 23, in their first court session following over three months of detention, the judge ruled to release Abd El Fattah and Abdel Rahman on bail pending investigations.

In December, the prosecution announced that the 25 defendants would face charges and referred the case to criminal court.

All 25 face charges of protesting without a permit, assaulting a police officer, obstructing traffic and destroying public property. Abd El Fattah faces an additional charge of organizing the protest, despite the No to Military Trials group claiming responsibility for it.