Egyptian Court Delays Sentencing of Coptic Teacher Charged with Blashphemy

Mohamed el-Tamawi, head of Luxor's Misdemeanor Circuit Court, ruled to delay the case of Coptic teacher Demiana Ebeid Abdel Nour who is accused of insulting Islam.

"Chaos dominated the session on Tuesday especially from the lawyers of the Islamic trend," Tharwat Bekheit, member of the defense staff, told Mideast Christian News.

He signaled that the presentation of the Islamist lawyers was similar to preaching in a mosque, adding that they attempted to exclude the witnesses who could uphold the value of justice, including Mustafa Mekki the headmaster of the school, whom they accused of inaction.

Bekheit said that the lawyers of the defendant insisted the need for hearing the defense witnesses' testimonies, including those of the headmaster, the instructor of social studies, the head of the Educational Directorate and the students who have not been heard by the prosecution.

He added that they also demanded to hear the head of Luxor's National Security Office, Mahmoud Ahedm el-Adawi, concerning the possible relation of the parents who submitted the complaint and sectarian issues, as well as the Islamization of Coptic minors.

He added that the defense staff called for taking into account the investigations conducted by the Administrative Prosecution. They stressed that these investigations were enough and included all those who were involved in the incident.

The coordinator of Luxor's Islamist Lawyers League submitted a complaint against the Coptic teacher accusing her of insulting Islam and its Prophet in addition to exercising missionary among her students. The prosecution decided to refer her to a speedy trial on May 14, hours after the prosecutor-general of Luxor ruled to release her on bail.

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