By Heba Fahmy
CAIRO: The case of former TV host and columnist Hamdy Qandil was adjourned to Jan. 23 to decide whether to delegate a different court to look into the case, following the defense team’s claims that the judge was bias during the trial.
Qandil is being charged of “defaming and insulting” Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul-Gheit in a column he had published on May 3 in daily independent Al-Shorouk newspaper.
Defense lawyer and director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (AHRI) Gamal Eid was optimistic that the court would heed to the defense’s demands.
“This is a positive sign that the court is likely to accept our demand to delegate a different court to handle the case because we presented objective justifications (supporting our demand).” Eid told Daily News Egypt.
“Usually if the request to delegate a different court is refused, a swift trial date is set and a fine is enforced on the defense team,” Eid added.
The defense team claimed that the judge didn’t give them an equal opportunity to present their case like the prosecution.
They also accused the judge of preventing them from giving their pleas.
Eid added that the defense’s most critical demand to summon Aboul-Gheit was refused by the court that deemed it “unnecessary.” –Additional reporting by Marwa Al-Asar.