Europe

Ibrahim Halawa: Egypt adjourns trial again

Ibrahim Halawa
Image caption Mr Halawa has spent two and a half years in jail

The trial of a Dublin man held in an Egyptian prison for more than two years has been adjourned again until 9 January.

Ibrahim Halawa was 17 when he was arrested during a siege on the Al-Fath mosque in Cairo in 2013.

The 20-year-old could face the death penalty.

Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan said he was disappointed by this latest delay.

"I remain very concerned about the length of time that Ibrahim has spent in detention and I have conveyed this concern directly to the Egyptian government," he said.

Resolution

On Thursday, the European Parliament voted in favour of a resolution calling on the Egyptian government to immediately release him.

However, Egypt's foreign ministry rejected the request as a "violation of the independence" of its judiciary, the Associated Press reported.

Mr Flanagan said the case was a high priority for his department, and the Irish government was represented by embassy officials at Saturday's hearing in Cairo.

"While the lengthy nature of the trial and the many adjournments are clearly frustrating for Mr Halawa and his family, and for all of us who wish to see Ibrahim home in Ireland, the government is resolutely focused on achieving a positive outcome for this citizen at the earliest time possible," he said.

Mr Halawa faces a mass trial along with more than 400 other defendants.

Egyptian authorities have alleged that Mr Halawa attended two illegal protests in August 2013.

He has denied the charges and said he was taking refuge from violent clashes between security forces and protestors in the Cairo mosque.

Mr Halawa was on a family holiday to Egypt when he and his three sisters were arrested during a crackdown on protestors in the country's capital.

His sisters were allowed to return to Dublin in November 2013.

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