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Minister Coveney welcomes opening of defence case in trial of Ibrahim Halawa in Egypt

Minister Simon Coveney, Press Releases, Ireland, 2017

Minister Coveney welcomes opening of defence case in trial of Ibrahim Halawa in Egypt

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney has welcomed the start of the defence phase of the trial in Egypt involving Irish citizen Ibrahim Halawa.

Minister Coveney issued the following statement:

“Today in Cairo, just two weeks short of the fourth anniversary of his arrest, Irish citizen Ibrahim Halawa has finally had his opportunity to defend himself in court.  It has taken a long time to get here, but I welcome the fact that we have finally arrived at the point where Mr. Halawa and his lawyers have had an opportunity to give his side of the story and to put forward legal  argument in his defence.  Ibrahim Halawa is represented by a very well-respected and highly-regarded Egyptian legal team and they have been able today to lay out their arguments against the charges that Mr. Halawa faces.

“Ireland’s Ambassador to Egypt, Damien Cole, and a team of observers from the Irish Embassy were in court to monitor the proceedings and to report back to the Irish Government on today’s developments.

“Our understanding, from contacts with Mr. Halawa’s legal team is that the defence arguments of all of the defendants in the trial will be heard before any verdicts are announced in this mass trial, so it may still be some time before we know the outcome of this protracted trial process for Ibrahim Halawa.

“However, there is no doubt that the end of this ordeal now appears closer than it has done at any point during the past four years.

“The Irish Government will be continuing to monitor developments in this trial, and liaising closely with Ibrahim Halawa, with his family and with his legal representatives in Egypt and in Ireland.

“Further hearings in the mass trial, involving defence arguments related to other defendants, are expected to take place over the coming days. 

“The Irish Government will not be making any comment on these other hearings, but a further statement will be issued as and when there is any update on the status of Ibrahim Halawa’s case.”

 

ENDS

Press Office

01 August 2017