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Egyptian court orders media gag in dead blogger case

Arab World Materials 24 September 2011 17:19
An Egyptian court ordered Saturday a media gag on a high-profile case involving two policemen charged with "harshly treating" a blogger whose death is widely seen as sparking a popular uprising against former president Hosny Mubarak.
Egyptian court orders media gag in dead blogger case

An Egyptian court ordered Saturday a media gag on a high-profile case involving two policemen charged with "harshly treating" a blogger whose death is widely seen as sparking a popular uprising against former president Hosny Mubarak, DPA reported.

The Criminal Court in the coastal city of Alexandria imposed the reporting ban to "help justice run its course," Egypt's semi-official newspaper Al Ahram reported online, quoting the presiding judge.

The 28-year-old blogger Khaled Said was found dead in July last year in an Alexandria street following his arrest.

His family and witnesses accused police of beating him to death at the internet cafe where he was detained.

But the Interior Ministry said that Said had suffocated in an attempt to swallow a packet of drugs in his possession during arrest.

The ministry further stated that Said was wanted "for theft and weapons possession and that he resisted arrest."

Two autopsy reports by state authorities supported the police's account of Said's death.

During Saturday's session, an independent forensics team, set up by the court in June, submitted a report on the possible cause of the blogger's death. Its findings were not disclosed.

The court adjourned the hearings until October 22 to allow time for lawyers for the two defendants and those representing Said's family to examine the new report, according to Al Ahram.

The case has been repeatedly postponed since it started in late 2010.

A Facebook page titled "We Are All Khaled Said" is popular in Egypt, and its founders also started the Facebook page that called for the country's revolt that eventually toppled Mubarak in February this year.

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