The trial opened in Cairo on Wednesday (25 August) of former Vice-President Aly Sabry and 90 other Egyptians accused of plotting to overthrow President Answer Sadat.
GV & SV Photographers around defendants (2 shots)
CU Sharawi Gomaa
MV Aly Sabry (left) talking to other defendants
CU Mohammed Fayek
CU Labib Shukair ZOOM BACK TO other defendants
GV Judges enter court
SV Judge Badawy
SV & GV Indictment read out (2 shots)
SV Sabry pleading "not guilty"
SV Defence Counsel claiming trail illegal
SV People in court listening
SV Chief prosecutor speaking
SV Badawy listening
GV Chief Prosecutor speaking ZOOM IN TO MV
GV & SV Lawyers argue with Chief Prosecutor (3 shots)
Initials OS/2142 OS/2224
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Background: The trial opened in Cairo on Wednesday (25 August) of former Vice-President Aly Sabry and 90 other Egyptians accused of plotting to overthrow President Answer Sadat. The first group to be tried -- 12 defendants -- include Aly Sabry and 11 other men once at the apex of Egypt's political life.
Former Vice-President Sabry was fired by President Sadat in May, after he challenged the President's decision to form a union with Libya and Syria. He was alleged to have sparked off Anti-sadat debates in the Arab Socialist Union Central Committee. According to the 40-page indictment, the alleged conspirators distributed subversive leaflets with the complicity of the Interior Minister, whose men were spying on the President himself. Interior Minister Gomaa was then in turn, fired by President Sadat, and a group of ministers and officials resigned collectively in order -- according to the accusation -- to cause political chaos.
After complaints from the defence lawyers on Wednesday that they were not allowed to see the defendants until Tuesday (24 August) and that the three-man revolutionary tribunal was not constitutionally set up, presiding Judge Hafez Badawy adjourned the trial until 4 September.
SYNOPSIS: One of Egypt's most sensational political trials opened in Cairo on Wednesday. Amon the some ninety defendants accused of high treason were former Interior Minister Sharawi Gomaa and former Vice-President Aly Sabry, on the left.
Ten other defendants were in court on Wednesday, the first group to be tried. Seventy-nine other alleged conspirators will be tried at a later date.
The three-man tribunal, led by presiding Judge Hafez Badawy, listened as the forty page indictment was read out in the packe??? courtroom. Basically, the men are charged with attempting to overthrow President An Sadat, an accusation that could mean the death sentence.
Former Vice-President Sabry and the other defendants each pleaded "not guilty".
Shouting scenes interrupted the proceedings, as defence lawyers complained that they had not been allowed to see the defendants until the day before the trial
The chief prosecutor argued with the defence over another objection -- that the three-man revolutionary tribunal was not constitutionally set up and was therefore not valid. The prosecutor said that the President could put anyone accused of any offence before such a court, and that a political trial was different from a civil one. At this point, presiding Judge Badawy abruptly ended the sitting, announcing he would give the defence lawyers a few more days to prepare any submission they might want on the question of the legality of the court. The proceedings proper will resume on the fourth of September.