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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 June, 2003, 13:33 GMT 14:33 UK
Britons' Egypt trial delayed
Ian Nisbet, Reza Pankhurst and Maajid Nawaz
The trio's trial has been subject to delays
The trial of three British men accused by Egypt of promoting a banned Islamic group has been delayed until Wednesday.

Ian Nisbet, 28, and Reza Pankhurst, 27, both originally from London, and Maajid Nawaz, 25, from Essex, are accused of trying to revive Hizb-ut-Tahrir, the Islamic Liberation Party.

Mr Nisbet and Mr Pankhurst, both IT consultants, and Mr Nawaz, a university student reading law and Arabic, were arrested in Egypt in April 2002.

The Britons claimed they were tortured with electric shocks and denied access to lawyers and consular officials while in prison awaiting the beginning of their trial.

Their lawyers said the Emergency High State Security Court adjourned the hearing without giving any reason for the latest delay, despite assurances given to British ambassador, John Sawers, by Egyptian authorities that there would be no more delays.

'Arrogant move'

It was also revealed that the men found out on Saturday that the only confessions being used by the prosecution are those they claim they signed under duress, and a confession from one Egyptian defendant.

Reza Pankhurst is reported to have inserted the words "lies", "hurt" and "panic" into his signature to alert officials to their plight.

His wife, Hodan, said: "This is another arrogant move on the part of the Egyptians.

"But I think they have shot themselves in the foot, for using a confession my husband inserted the words 'lies' and 'hurt' into as evidence of torture and fabrication.

"It should naturally result in the whole case against the 26 men being thrown out of court. At least that is what justice should dictate."

Attempted coup

All three are standing trial alongside 23 Egyptian men at the Cairo court.

The Britons last appeared in court on 19 April.

The defendants are charged with promoting, both in speech and writing, the goals of Hizb-ut-Tahrir.

Both Mr Nawaz and Mr Pankhurst are also accused of possessing and distributing printed literature which "promoted Hizb-ut-Tahrir's message", while Mr Pankhurst faces a third charge of possessing a computer used for "propagating" the group's ideology.

Hizb-ut-Tahrir was banned in Egypt following an attempted coup in 1974.


SEE ALSO:
Britons' Egypt trial delayed again
19 Apr 03  |  England
Britons' trial in Egypt begins
29 Mar 03  |  England
Trial of Britons in Egypt delayed
15 Mar 03  |  England
Fears for Egypt trial Briton
23 Dec 02  |  England
Egypt trial Britons' case resumes
21 Dec 02  |  England


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