Zaki: third hearing Tuesday of trial in Egypt

In Mansoura on fake news charges; in jail for 22 months

06 December, 17:18

    Flashmob in Rome to ask the Italian citizenship for Patrick Zaki Flashmob in Rome to ask the Italian citizenship for Patrick Zaki

    CAIRO - The third hearing of the trial against Egyptian University of Bologna student Patrick Zaki is scheduled on Tuesday in Mansoura, in Egypt, on the Nile delta. The student is accused of providing false information through articles. He has been detained for exactly 22 months. As announced by his lawyer, the hearing will be necessary for his legal team to present a defensive memory prepared on the basis of access to the acts obtained at the previous hearing on September 28. The judge of the State court of security for minor crimes in Zaki's home town, along with potentially replying to the defensive memory, will decide whether to reschedule the hearing or issue a conviction or acquittal without appeal, said a representative of Eipr, the Egyptian NGO for which the student worked as a researcher.

    The 30-year-old has recently been transferred from the Tora prison in Cairo, where he spent nearly all of his preventive custody, to a prison in Mansoura, according to an activist and friend. Italian diplomats will go to court, as for all hearings, along with representatives of other countries, at the request of the Italian embassy, to monitor the trial as previously done when his pre-trial detention was renewed.

    Zaki was arrested on February 7, 2020, while returning to Egypt for a holiday and 19 months of detention were justified on charges of subversive propaganda made in 10 Facebook posts. The indictment instead was based on charges of "spreading fake news inside and outside the country" based on three articles written by Zaki, including one in 2019 on Christians in Egypt persecuted by ISIS and discriminated by fringes of Muslim society. The researcher and activist risks up to five years in jail.

    © Copyright ANSA - All rights reserved