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Report on the violations in Case No. 3654/2014, Criminal/Military/Ismailia, registered under No. 58/2014 Criminal/Military/Partial/al-Mansoura

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The events of that incident date back to September 2014, when reports were received about the presence of adhesive material on the numbers of automated teller machines (ATM) of some banks, with a sticky substance impeding the use of their digital buttons in an intentional way.

The Public Prosecution of South Mansoura began to investigate report No. 5737 of 2014 (Second administration/Mansoura). The prosecution requested the security’s investigations into the incidents. The investigations accused four defendants belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood of carrying out the incident with the aim of spreading the feeling of lack of safety among citizens, as well as damage to public money and damage to the interests of individuals.

The Mansoura Prosecution office has ordered the arrest of the defendants, two of them were arrested and the car used in committing that incident was seized. The prosecution referred the case papers to the Military Prosecution based on the Presidential Decree of Law No. 136/2014 regarding the insurance and protection of facilities.

On 26 December 2014, the Head of the Ismailia Military Prosecution, Colonel Mahmoud Ibrahim Ghazi, issued the referral order in Case No. 365/2014 Criminal/Military/Total/Ismailia, and registered under No. 58/2014 Criminal/Military/Mansoura. The prosecution accused the defendants of the following: “They and others had destroyed public and private property, which are banks’ ATM machines, and this led to their disruption, in implementation of a terrorist purpose. They also took part with other unidentified suspects (without prior notification to the competent authorities) in demonstrations that disturbed the security and public order and disrupted citizens and public and private property. They blocked the road and disrupted the movement of transportation, and also gathered with unidentified suspects and shouted with the intention of stirring up discord, chanting slogans, phrases and false news that promoted the overthrow of the regime.”

On 12 March 2015, the Fourth Circuit at the Military Criminal Court held in Mansoura issued its judgment in the case as follows: Punishing the present defendant Muhammad Fathi Bakir Ahmed with seven years imprisonment and punishing the present defendant Osama Hamdan Mahfouz Abdo with five years imprisonment. It sentenced in absentia the defendant Muhammad Yasser Ibrahim to ten years imprisonment and Abdullah Adel Muhammad to imprisonment and hard labour for a period of three years and the confiscation of the seized car No. DHG 3652.”

And since the judgment was not accepted by the convicted persons, they decided to appeal by cassation before the Military Appeals Court. The attorney for the convicted persons requested the acceptance of the appeal, and the appealed ruling was overturned. The grounds for the cassation on the defences are: the failure to establish causation and corruption of the inference through several aspects, the violation of the right of defence in several ways and the error in applying the law and corruption in evidence.

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: Two defendants, Mohamed Fathy Bakir Ahmed and Osama Hamdan Mahfouz Abdo were subjected to torture, as evidenced by the investigation papers that they were beaten and electrocuted.

Second: The two were also subjected to enforced disappearance, as Ahmed was arrested on 9/9/2014 from his home by the security forces. Then he was transferred to Sidi Saad police station, held overnight, and then transferred again to the Talkha police station. Likewise, Osama Hamdan Mahfouz Abdo was arrested on 18 September 2014, and security forces took him to the First Mansoura Police Station, and he stayed there for several days.

Third: The defendants were tried before a military court although they were civilians, which is a violation of the right to an impartial and independent trial. This is not achieved in the military judiciary, which has its political and institutional biases because it is subordinate to the Minister of Defense, rendering it far from impartial and independent.

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