Alexandria's criminal court has adjourned the trial of Khaled Saeed's killers on Saturday due to the judges' absenteeism.
Saeed (born in 1982) was allegedly beaten to death after being illegally arrested by two police officers in Alexandria on 6 June 2010.
The case turned out to be a landmark in campaigning against police brutality. It brought to life the Facebook group "We are all Khaled Saeed," which is believed to be a major player in organizing the mass pro-democracy protests that led to the ousting of former President Hosni Mubarak on 11 February 2011.
“The next session for the trial will be held on 21 May 2011,” Mohamed Abdel Aziz, lawyer for Saeed’s family, told Al-Masry Al-Youm.
Today’s session was supposed to include lawyers' statements and a court decision on whether it has reached a conclusion on the fate of the two police officers accused of beating Saeed to death.
Dozens of activists from the 6 April movement and the Justice and Freedom group, as well as family members of those killed during the 25 January Revolution, were present at the court, amid significant military deployment.
A military officer told activists that the military's role is to make sure that the courthouse, located in downtown Alexandria, is safe. He said that he has nothing to do with activists.
On hearing that the trial was adjourned, activists chanted “postpone it for one day or for 100 days — we will not leave the case.”
“The popular support for Saeed’s case is increasing after the revolution. The case has gained more support from other citizens as well as from families of the martyrs of the revolution,” said Abdel Aziz.
Saturday’s adjournment came after one month the same court postponed the trial without holding a session for investigating the case, due to lack of security guaranteeing the safety of the trial.
“When the case was adjourned on 25 February under the pretext of a lack of security we didn’t say anything, but with this huge presence from the military how can you say that there is a lack of security?” asked Mohamed Mahmoud, a close friend of the deceased.
Ahmad Saeed, brother of Khaled, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the family is frustrated not only because of the delay but also after the insults they received from the lawyers and families of the two police officers accused of killing his brother.
“We went through similar circumstances before the revolution but now we are subjected to the same intimidation by those who sympathize with the toppled regime,” said Ahmad.
“We were in the court trying to understand the reason for adjourning the trial. But the police officers' lawyers started screaming at us, insulting us and saying that without ‘this dirty revolution’ we would have beaten you,” said Mahmoud.