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 Saturday, 21 December, 2002, 14:08 GMT
Egypt trial Britons' case resumes
Ian Nisbet
Nisbet and the other Britons said they were beaten
The trial of three Britons accused of belonging to a banned Islamic organisation has resumed in Cairo, with the court hearing evidence of the alleged torture of other prisoners.

Medical reports on injuries suffered by two Egyptian men accused of similar offences were seen by the judge this morning, said lawyer Sadiq Khan.

The trial of the three Britons, Ian Nisbet, 28, Reza Pankhurst, 27, and Maajid Nawaz, 26 - all from London - reopened in Cairo's State Security Court after a long adjournment for Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting.

The men, who were first arrested more than eight months ago, have claimed they were tortured and forced to sign confessions while in custody.

Sadiq Khan
This is excellent news and very important to our case because it corroborates the complaints we have been making since day one

Sadiq Khan

Mr Khan said the evidence relating to the two Egyptian men disclosed that they showed "visible" signs of torture.

He added that this supported claims that the three British men were also ill-treated.

Mr Khan said: "This is excellent news and very important to our case because it corroborates the complaints we have been making since day one.

"The same interrogation team interrogated our three men."

Reza Pankhurst
Reza Pankhurst was working for an internet company

He has said he was "hopeful" that the case against the Britons would collapse.

Nisbet, Pankhurst and Nawaz arrived at court handcuffed, with Pankhurst carrying a banner bearing the words "political scapegoats".

They are accused of possessing banned books and computer equipment and appeared alongside 23 other people, accused of trying to revive the banned Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir.

Pankhurst described his ordeal in prison when the men first appeared in court, saying he was stripped naked and tortured with electric shocks.

Maajid Nawaz
Maajid Nawaz is a student

Ian Nisbet's wife Humera, from Upton Park in east London, said she was being updated on the proceedings by text messages from Cairo.

She said the proceedings were a positive step and added that she hoped to hear good news soon.

The trial was adjourned until Sunday, with the judge requesting medical evidence on a third Egyptian man, who has since been released.

Egyptian authorities blame Hizb ut-Tahrir for an attempted coup in 1974 and involvement in terrorist operations.


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See also:

20 Oct 02 | England
18 Oct 02 | England
17 Oct 02 | England
04 Oct 02 | England
05 Aug 02 | World at One
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