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'Heading towards a conclusion': Trial of Ibrahim Halawa coming to a close

The next hearing will be on 25 July.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER Simon Coveney has indicated that the trial of Irish citizen Ibrahim Halawa is edging closer to a conclusion.

Halawa has been imprisoned in Cairo for nearly four years. He was just 17 years old when he was first detained during Muslim Brotherhood protests in the Egyptian capital in August 2013.

The Egyptian legal process has seen Halawa stand trial with nearly 500 other defendants – the absence of some of which (due to sickness and other reasons) has been a repeated reason for the repeat suspensions and the drawn out nature of the action.

But today Coveney said he had received correspondence from a team of diplomats at the Irish Embassy in Cairo who informed him that the prosecution will make its final arguments on 25 July.

In a statement released today, Coveney said: “I have just had a report from our team of diplomats at the Irish Embassy in Cairo who were in court today for the latest hearing in the ongoing group trial involving Ibrahim Halawa.

“Today’s court session saw video evidence shown and discussed, and 17 witnesses called by the defence lawyers. The judge said that this was the full list of defence witnesses, and that no further witnesses remain to be called in the trial.

“It has taken a long time to get to this stage in the process, but it finally looks as if this trial is moving towards a conclusion.”

Earlier this year, the judge referred audio-video evidence to a Technical Committee for further examination.  Their report, seen by Amnesty International, suggests that out of the at least 330 defendants currently detained in the case, there is only information relating to two defendants. It does not even mention Ibrahim Halawa.

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