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Prosecution 'closes case' in trial of Ibrahim Halawa in Egypt

The 21-year-old Irishman has been held in Cairo for almost four years.

Somaia Halawa, sister of Ibrahim, holds a poster bearing her brother's face. ,
Somaia Halawa, sister of Ibrahim, holds a poster bearing her brother's face. ,
Image: Brian Lawless/PA Images

THE PROSECUTION CASE has closed in the Egyptian trial of Ibrahim Halawa, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs.

The 21-year-old Irish citizen has been held in Cairo since he was arrested at an August 2013 protest in support of Mohamed Morsi who had been ousted from power in a military coup.

His trial had suffered repeated delays as Egyptian authorities sought to try Halawa in a mass trial involving close to 500 defendants but progress has been made in recent court appearances.

Today represented the 28th time Halawa has appeared in court and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said that Irish Embassy officials were present to observe the hearing.

“They have informed me that the main development at today’s hearing was the closing presentation by the prosecutors, marking the end of the prosecution case,” Coveney said this evening.

I welcome the fact that we have now reached the end of the prosecution case. I also welcome the fact that the defendants and their lawyers will now have their opportunity to set out their arguments responding to the prosecution case and evidence.

The next trial day has been set for this day next week.

It is not clear how long the trial will continue but the Department of Foreign Affairs has previously stated that it is moving towards a conclusion.

“When the Taoiseach and I met with Ibrahim Halawa’s family last week, we gave them strong reassurances that we will continue to maintain pressure in order to ensure that this issue is resolved, and that this young Irish citizen is returned to his home and his family as soon as possible,” Coveney added in a statement this evening.

Irrahim Halawa’s sister Fatima has previously stated that her brother’s attendance at the protest was in part motivated by a massacre a number of days previous in which an estimated 817 people were killed by the Egyptian military.

Read: ‘It wasn’t political’ – Fatima Halawa explains why their family attended the protest in Egypt >

Read: ‘Heading towards a conclusion’: Trial of Ibrahim Halawa coming to a close >

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Rónán Duffy

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