Halawa case ‘moving towards a conclusion’

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney has said the trial of Irish citizen Ibrahim Halawa in Cairo looks to be “moving towards a conclusion”.

Mr Halawa, 21, was 17 at the time of his arrest in 2013 and has been charged with serious offences related to his alleged participation in a political protest, all of which he strongly denies. His lawyers believe that, if convicted, he may face the death penalty.

In a statement issued yesterday, Mr Coveney said: “I have just had a report from our team of diplomats at the Irish Embassy in Cairo who were in court today for the latest hearing in the ongoing group trial involving Ibrahim Halawa.

“Today’s court session saw video evidence shown and discussed, and 17 witnesses called by the defence lawyers. The judge said that this was the full list of defence witnesses, and that no further witnesses remain to be called in the trial.

“The case will continue on 25 July and the judge indicated that the prosecutor will present the final arguments for the prosecution side on that occasion. Irish Government observers will be present in the court again for that hearing and for the subsequent hearings when the defendants’ cases will be presented.

“It has taken a long time to get to this stage in the process, but it finally looks as if this trial is moving towards a conclusion.”