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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 July, 2005, 14:39 GMT 15:39 UK
Egypt opposition trial postponed
Egyptian opposition leader Ayman Nour
Mr Nour says the charges are politically motivated
The trial of Egyptian opposition leader Ayman Nour has been postponed until after September's presidential poll, in which he intends to stand.

He faces charges of forging documents to set up his al-Ghad party and his wife says he would prefer to get the trial out of the way first.

Mr Nour is one of a handful of people hoping to stand in Egypt's first multi-candidate vote for head of state.

He denies the charges and says they are politically motivated.

He is accused of forging signatures to register his party, which means Tomorrow in English.

A co-defendant in the trial, Ayman Ismail, had admitted forging documents for Mr Nour - but he has since withdrawn his testimony, saying the confession was forced out of him with threats against his family.

If Mr Nour is convicted he could face up to 15 years in prison.

Leading figure

On Wednesday a Cairo court postponed the trial until 25 September.

Mr Nour's wife and spokeswoman, Gameela Ismail, said she feared the postponement was meant to leave her husband under suspicion during the campaign.

"Why should we have this hanging round our necks all this long time? What are they going to do in the next couple of months... Three months to do what?" she asked.

Elections are due to be held earlier in September, though no date has been set.

Mr Nour is seen as one of Egypt's leading pro-democracy figures.

It is thought Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, in power since 1981, will seek a fifth six-year term in the poll.

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