Hearing against Egyptian researcher Zaki begins in Mansoura

Risks five-year sentence for article on Copts

14 September, 12:06

    (ANSAmed) - MANSOURA (EGYPT), SEPTEMBER 14 - A hearing began on Tuesday morning in the Egyptian city of Mansoura against Patrick George Zaki, a researcher and student who had been enrolled at the University of Bologna but who has been in an Egyptian jail since February 2020.

    As noted on Monday by Egyptian NGOs, the indictment was on the charges of "spreading false news inside and outside the country", in reference to a 2019 article the defendant wrote on Christians in Egypt in which he said they were persecuted.

    The 30-year-old researcher and activist risks a fine or a sentence of up to five years in jail, according to Amnesty International.

    Since it is a state security court for minor crimes, the sentence will not be subject to appeal.

    An Italian diplomat will be present at the hearing, as was the case for the previous court proceedings over whether to keep Zaki in detention, as part of EU trial monitoring.

    The court is in the Nile Delta city where Zaki was born and raised and where he was incarcerated for almost a month last year at the beginning of his pre-trial detention.

    The hearings will begin at 9 AM local and Italian time, but Patrick's is expected to begin later, one of his lawyers said.

    At the moment it is not clear how many hearings there will be.

    From the information released on Monday by Amnesty International and NGOs, the worst charges including incitement to overthrow the state and terrorism - which had been based on ten Facebook posts - have been shelved. (ANSAmed).

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