Zaki: most serious charges still standing says lawyer

Charges of instigating terror, not just fake news - Hoda

(ANSA) - Cairo, September 24 - The most serious charges against Bologna University student Patrick Zaki - subversive and terrorist propaganda - have not been shelved and persist in the ongoing trial in Egypt on the spread of fake news through an online article, the head of the legal team representing the Egyptian student detained since February 2020 in Cairo told ANSA.
    "The indictment was filed on all charges and there are more acts that will be added in two photocopies", Hoda Nasrallah said speaking on the phone.
    She did not want to specify the maximum sentence risked for the student.
    The other "acts" are "articles", she added.
    The lawyer spoke of "all charges" responding to a question on whether the indictment only referred to the "promotion of fake news in and out of the country" in an article on the persecution of Christians in Egypt - as indicated by 10 NGOs including one for which the researcher worked - or also for instigation to protest, "ousting the regime", "use of violence" and "terror crime" as repeatedly reported over the past few months by judicial sources in Cairo.
    In detail, the question was whether charges persisted in connection with 10 Facebook posts on which 19 months of preventive custody in jail were based before the indictment announced on September 13.
    A day later, at the end of the first hearing in which she had requested and obtained access to the acts, the lawyer had been unable to say whether the oldest and most serious charges had been shelved.
    Zaki risks up to 25 years in jail under those charges, according to Amnesty International, or a life term, according to another Egyptian legal source.
    NGOs were only certain about the charge concerning the alleged publication of fake news in an article two years ago on the persecution and discrimination of Copts. Under the latter charge, Zaki risks up to five years in jail which, if the preventive jail term he has already served is included, would be reduced to three years and five months.
    The next hearing for the student has been scheduled on Tuesday, September 28, in Mansura, the city on the Nile delta where he was born 30 years ago. (ANSAmed).


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