In Caira, on Tuesday (23rd August) members of extremist Moslem went on trial accused of kidnapping and murdering former Government Minister Dr.
In Caira, on Tuesday (23rd August) members of extremist Moslem went on trial accused of kidnapping and murdering former Government Minister Dr. Mohammed Hussein Zahaby. They are members of Takfir Wal Hijira - The Society for Repentance and Flight from Sin.
SYNOPSIS: The Social claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of Dr. Zahaby whose shot and stabbed body was found in a Cairo villa on 6th July. Dr. Zahaby a former Religious Endowments minister had been a strong critic of the sect. The man accused of shooting Dr. Zahaby is a former police officer Ahmed Tarek Abdul-Alim.
The alleged ring leader of the sect is Shoukry Ahmed Moustafa who police say kidnapped Dr. Zahaby to secure the release of 60 of his jailed followers. When it was announced that the 60 were to be tried by military tribunal, the sect said it was declaring war on President Sadat. Among the 51 in court were three 14 year olds said to have been couriers.
Moustafa led those in the dock shouting - 'God is great' - and 'Down with the state of sinners'
The President of the Tribunal was Major Hassan Sadek. He and the two other officers of the Tribunal asked each defendant how they pleaded and all said not guilty. The charges levelled at the 51 defendants carry a possible death penalty and include not only the killing of Dr. Zahaby but attempting to change the Government by force and planting explosives in public places. The Tribunal president decided the next hearing of the charges would take place on 3rd September.