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Report on the violations in Case No. 269/2015 Criminal/ Military/Ismailia، registered as 96/2015 Criminal/Military/ Mansoura

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The events date back to 6/12/2014 when a fire broke out in the power transformer of the village of Aweesh al-Hajar in Dakahliya governorate, causing power cuts to the entire village. National security investigations alleged the involvement of some members of the Muslim Brotherhood in setting fire to the electrical transformer. The prosecution issued an arrest warrant for 11 defendants; only one of them was arrested, Shihab Ahmed Mohammed, and he was investigated in the absence of his lawyer.

On 28 June 2015, the Mansoura Military Prosecution received the papers of the case, based on Presidential Decree of Law No. 136/2014, for securing and protecting the public and vital facilities. On 17 June 2015, Colonel Mahmoud Ibrahim Ghazi, head of the Total Ismailia Military Prosecution, issued the indictment against the defendants. According to the indictment, on 2 December 2014 in the Mansoura Center district of Dakahliya, the defendants deliberately set fire to fixed and movable assets owned by the state and deliberately destroyed public property allocated to one of the government interests.

The verdict was issued in the case, in a hearing dated 27/8/2015, by the Military Court of the Sixth Circuit Criminal held in Mansoura. The court sentenced Shihab Ahmed Mohammed Aggour with hard labour imprisonment for a period of seven years, and the rest who were at large were sentenced in absentia to 15 years hard labour in prison, with all of them obliged to pay the value of what they had destroyed at the discretion of the competent authorities.

The following is a review of what took place in the investigations and the trial to analyze the violations of the right to a fair trial that occurred with the victims:

First: The absence of the state of flagrante delicto, as the case was based on the report of the investigations issued by an officer in the National Security Department, according to which the prosecution issued permission to seize and bring the defendants.

Second: The enforced disappearance of the only defendant who was arrested among the 11 defendants, as Shihab Ahmed Mahmoud Aggour was arrested on Saturday morning, 3 January 2015, from his home in al-Hajar village, Mansoura Center, by security forces, and detained in a place he did not know and did not contact his relatives and lawyers, and on 9 January 2015, he was brought before the prosecution.

Third: The prosecution’s negligence to investigate the facts of enforced disappearance, as they did not conduct an investigation into these facts or even ask the person in charge of arresting them about the period during which the defendant Shihab Ahmed Mahmoud Aggour was detained unlawfully.

Fourth: Investigation in the absence of a lawyer, the prosecution began the investigation with Shihab Ahmed Mahmoud Aggour on the evening of 1/9/2015 without a lawyer, as Shihab denied attending his defence, and the prosecution contacted the Lawyers Syndicate to appoint a lawyer, but it was closed. The investigation was carried out in violation of the constitution, law and international covenants.

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