View of Egypt's High Court of Justice in Cairo - REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El GhanyA
CAIRO– 18 November 2017: The Cairo Criminal Court on Saturday adjourned until November 28 the trial of 213 defendants of "Ansar Beit El Maqdis" militant group for being involved in 54 terrorist crimes against Egyptian police troops and security premises.
Former prosecutor general Hisham Barakat had referred the defendants to the criminal court at the end of the investigations by the Supreme State Security Prosecution.
The crimes, committed by the defendants, include a failed assassination attempt on former interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim, the killing of a number of police officers and setting fire to security facilities, including the security directorates of Cairo, Daqahlia and South Sinai.
Investigations showed that the defendants were trained in the camps of Ezz Eddin al Qassam, the military wing of Palestinian movement Hamas, and that they plotted to target ships transiting the Suez Canal.
They also face charges of joining a terrorist group aiming at disrupting national security and public order, collaborating with a foreign organization represented in Hamas to sabotage state institutions, illegal possession of arms and ammunition and premeditated murder.
Investigations also showed that ousted president Mohamed Morsi was in contact with the militant group leaderships while he was in power and that they agreed that Hamas would not carry out any terrorist attacks while he was in office.
The 54 terrorist crimes the defendants are implicated in had left 42 policemen and 15 civilians dead and 349 others wounded.
Ansar Beit El Maqdis has claimed responsibility for most of the major attacks against security forces and their installations, with the deadliest assaults taking place in Sinai.
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