Statement by Minister Coveney on developments in the Halawa court case4/7/17
Following the latest hearing in the court case in Egypt involving Irish citizen Ibrahim Halawa, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney, has issued the following statement this afternoon.
“I have just received a report from the Irish Ambassador in Cairo, who led a team of observers at today’s hearing in the court case in which Ibrahim Halawa is a defendant.
"There has been further progress in the trial today with a number of further police witnesses called and cross-examined.
"The presiding judge has said that only five further witnesses will be called as part of the prosecution case, and that the prosecution case will be concluded at the next hearing, which is set for next Sunday, 9 July.
"A team of official Irish observers will again be present in court for that hearing.
"I welcome the indications that the trial is now progressing into its final stages.
"The Irish Government cannot intervene in a case that is before the Egyptian courts. What we can do, and what we are doing, is redoubling our efforts to ensure that the Egyptian authorities fulfil the clear commitment which they have given us to resolve this issue as soon as the trial ends, and return Ibrahim Halawa to Ireland.
"I have already met with the Egyptian Ambassador in Dublin, Ms Soha Gendi, to discuss this case, and I look forward to speaking to the Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, as soon as possible to impress upon him how important I believe this matter is, and to reinforce the need for its early resolution.
I and my officials are working hard towards that goal and we will continue to do so. I am determined to do everything I can as Minister for Foreign Affairs to make sure that Ibrahim Halawa is back home in Ireland with his family as soon as possible.”