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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 December, 2003, 14:54 GMT
Verdict on Egypt Britons delayed
Ian Nisbett, left, and Maajid Nawaz are led into a Cairo court
Three Britons accused in Egypt of promoting a banned Islamic group will have to wait until March to discover their fate.

The men had expected to learn their fate at Egypt's Emergency High State Security Court on Thursday.

The trio claim they signed false confessions after being tortured.

Maajid Nawaz, from Essex, and Londoners Ian Nisbet and Reza Pankhurst, are accused of trying to revive an Islamic group.

The Britons, along with 23 Egyptians, are accused of trying to revive Islamic Liberation Party, Hizb-ut-Tahrir.

The Britons, who are all married with children, were seized in a post 11 September crackdown and accused of promoting aims including the overthrow of the Egyptian government.

It is yet another form of pressure, of abuse and of punishment for a group of innocent people who are not guilty of any crime.
Hodan Pankhurst
The prosecution says Hizb-ut-Tahrir was banned in 1974 following an attempted coup, while the group argues it was never banned in law.

On Thursday the judge adjourned the case until 25 March.

Mr Pankhurst's wife, Hodan, said of the delay: "It is yet another form of pressure, of abuse and of punishment for a group of innocent people who are not guilty of any crime.

'Where is the justice?'

"We would have been waiting for this verdict for eight months by March unnecessarily so where is the justice?"

Mr Nawaz's wife Rabia, said: "We have tried all avenues of action to bring this injustice to an end and I think this further delay is proof, if anyone needs it, that the Egyptian judicial process is not there to secure justice but to legitimise the tyranny and corruption of the Egyptian Government.

"This whole process of delay is punishment in itself."

The Britons claim they were forced to sign confessions which they could not read in October of last year.

Their families have demanded the cases against them are thrown out of court.

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