The Mansheya Misdemeanour Court of Appeals suspended on Wednesday a verdict served to Alexandrian political activist Hassan Mustafa in January 2012.
Mustafa was served six-months in prison and an EGP 1,000 fine in absentia for allegedly insulting a police officer in 2011. Mustafa’s lawyer, Mohamed Ramadan, said the defendant did not know about the verdict until he was released from custody in August, after being held for a different charge.
“Before his release, the authorities checked his criminal record,” Ramadan said. “It was then that we realised he had a sentence served in absentia.”
Ramadan said that the suspension of the verdict does not mean Mustafa was acquitted of the charge. He added that the defendant will therefore appeal the verdict.
Police officer Ahmed Galal had accused Mustafa of insulting him while he was on duty, reported state-run Al-Ahram. An altercation occurred between Mustafa and the judge on Wednesday while he was defending himself against the charge, according to Ramadan.
Mustafa was arrested in January and remained in jail for six months. He was charged with helping ten detainees escape custody, and insulting and assaulting a public employee.
Mustafa was tried and sentenced to two years hard labour in March on charges of assaulting prosecutor Ahmed Darwish. The sentence was later reduced to one year of hard labour in June.
The political activist was released on the latter charge in early July after Darwish withdrew his complaint. He was also released pending trial in August in the case of helping detainees escape custody. His next hearing is on 3 November, Ramadan said.
Hassan Mustafa is a prominent Alexandrian activist most famous for helping shed light on the Khaled Said murder case in 2010. He began a hunger strike twice during his imprisonment.