TEL AVIV – An Egyptian judge postponed the trial of 739 people accused of murder because the courtroom cage was too small, the Independent reported.
Judge Hassan Farid said he received instructions from the Cairo security directorate telling him to postpone the trial because police would not be able to move the defendants from prison to the courthouse due to a halt in cage expansion works. In most Egyptian trials, defendants are placed inside a courtroom cage.
The trial was adjourned until 6 February.
The defendants are charged with the murder of police forces, possessing weapons without a license and planning an armed gathering.
The defendants were rounded up at a protest site in August 2013 along with thousands of other Muslim Brotherhood supporters.
In June 2013, supporters of former President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood staged two Cairo sit-ins before the military ousted him. The sit-in, which lasted seven weeks, turned deadly when security forces vacated the two protest sites and killed hundreds of Brotherhood supporters in the process, making it one of the bloodiest days in Egypt’s modern history.
Following the protests, dozens of policemen and civilians were killed and the authorities arrested thousands of Brotherhood members. The mass trials of Brotherhood members and people accused of links to the group, as well as the government’s harsh clampdown on both Islamist and liberal opposition, have drawn criticism from the international community of Egypt’s judicial system and human rights record.