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Egypt's court acquits 24 in "camel battle" trial

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Wed, 10 Oct 2012 18:49 GMT
Author: Reuters
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CAIRO, Oct 10 (Reuters) - A Cairo court on Wednesday acquitted 24 former senior Egyptian officials accused of sending men on horseback and camels to attack protesters during last year's uprising, after a trial lasting more than a year.

The attack, which later became known as "The Battle of the Camel" was one of the most violent incidents of the 18-day-uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak in February 11, 2011.

The assault by the horse and camel riders, who whipped people in a crowd of tens of thousands of protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Feb. 2 of last year, produced some of the most startling images of the uprising and helped galvanise protests among Egyptians shocked by the violence.

According to a court document seen by Reuters, the court "did not find any material evidence to convict the defendants".

Among the former officials who stood trial were Fathi Sorour, former speaker in the lower house of parliament, and Safwat Sherif, former head of parliament's upper house who was a longtime confidant of Mubarak. All denied the charges against them.

Both Sorour and Sherif will remain in jail pending other investigations for alleged corruption. (Additional reporting by Ahmed Tolba; Writing by Yasmine Saleh; Editing by Andrew Roche)

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