IMPORTANT ARTICLE ABOUT THE TRIAL OF
HI BROTHERS IN CHRIST:
THE ATTACHED IS AN IMPORTANT ARTICLE ABOUT THE TRIAL OF MR. IBRAHIM, WHO ALWAYS DEFENDED OUR COPTIC PROBLEM. LIKE DR. FARAG FOUDA, WHO GAVE HIS LIFE DEFENDING US, MR. IBRAHIM IS BEING ACCUSED OF NON-FOUNDED ALLEGATIONS. PLEASE HELP IN SUCH MATTER BY CONTACTING YOUR CONGRESS AND SENATORS REPRESENTATIVES.
ALSO, HE IS A US CITIZEN.
GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU AND KEEP YOU FOR THE DEFENSE OF THE DEFENSELESS AND TO SPEAK FOR THOSE WHO CANT SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES.
MONIR A. DAWOUD, MD
New York Times----April 22, 2001
Defense Cites Political Role of Egypt Trial
By NEIL MacFARQUHAR
lawyers CAIRO, April 21st Defense lawyers summed up their arguments this week in the case against Saad Eddin Ibrahim, a prominent Egyptian-American sociologist accused of defaming Egypt and accepting illegal donations from abroad, among other charges.
Ibrahim Saleh, the lead defense lawyer, told the three judges hearing the case in the Supreme Security Court that the accusations against his client were politically motivated and intended "to hunt, to snipe at and to silence" the sociologist.
The case is being closely watched by human rights groups in Egypt and abroad, with the charges against Mr. Ibrahim and 27 others working with him seen as an attempt to scare independent research groups away from sensitive public issues.
The court postponed the continuation of the defense for the whole group until May 19.
Mr. Ibrahim's five lawyers took two tracks in defending him. The first, a character defense, stressed his international reputation for solid research. The second, on points of law, laid out how much of what the Ibn Khaldun Center did was discussed publicly in Egypt, if infrequently, and suggested that some evidence was fabricated.
Mr. Ibrahim, who is out on bail, remained confident he would win the case. "I've been optimistic since the beginning of this dilemma because this is a baseless case," he said.
The Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies, which Mr. Ibrahim founded, delved into subjects like electoral fraud and tensions between Egypt's Muslim majority and Christian minority.
Mr. Ibrahim was a vocal advocate of independent judicial review of voting in Egypt and his center had planned to monitor last fall's parliamentary election. He also wrote a satirical magazine article about Arab leaders grooming their sons to succeed them, which mentioned the Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak.
"Saad did not stop at the red lines; he spoke about two taboos, religious intolerance and the elections," said Abdel Qader Hashim, another defense lawyer. "He stepped into restricted areas."
The prosecution accused Mr. Ibrahim of harming Egypt's image with exaggerated reports, of accepting foreign donations without government permission, of using donated money for personal enrichment and of bribing newscasters to report favorably on the center's work.
The government also said the center, in its work to raise voter participation, forged registration cards.
The defense pointed out that Mr. Ibrahim was repeatedly hired as a consultant for the United Nations, the World Bank and the European Union. The center used some of the $250,000 it received from the European Union's administrative arm, the European Commission, for a project on voting rights in Egypt.
Mr. Ibrahim's lawyers said the center was working under contract as a company, and therefore not subject to a law requiring voluntary groups to report foreign donations. They also presented a letter from the European Commission stating that an audit found nothing improper.
The government fabricated some evidence, the defense said. One researcher at the center, whom defense lawyers accused of being a government plant, told Mr. Ibrahim that the voter registration cards needed to be kept at Mr. Ibrahim's home for safekeeping. When the security police raided the house two days later, they made a beeline for the cards and later pronounced them forgeries, the lawyers said.
see the article at The New York Times