World Bulletin/News Desk
An Egyptian court on Tuesday adjourned to December 17 trial proceedings for four police officers charged with manslaughter in connection with the death of dozens of supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi while in police custody.
In mid-August, Egypt's Interior Ministry announced that at least 37 detainees – arrested for participating in pro-Morsi demonstrations – had died as a result of "gas inhalation and stampede" while attempting to escape from a police vehicle.
The ministry claimed that police officers had been forced to fire teargas into the vehicle to thwart the alleged escape attempt.
However, the Muslim Brotherhood, the group from which Morsi – along with many of the slain detainees – hails, accused security forces of intentionally killing the men.
According to a judicial source, the decision to postpone trial proceedings was meant to give defense lawyers more time to review documentation relevant to the case.
Last month, prosecutors said investigations revealed that police officers had treated the detainees with "negligence, recklessness and disrespect."
The deaths occurred four days after security forces violently dispersed two pro-Morsi protest camps in Cairo and Giza, which left hundreds of demonstrators dead and injured.
The National Alliance for the Defense of Legitimacy, a coalition that demands Morsi's reinstatement, has called for an international investigation into the incident.
Morsi supporters describe the elected leader's July 3 ouster by the army – following massive and well-coordinated protests against his presidency – as an illegitimate "military coup."Last Mod: 12 Kasım 2013, 15:47