By Nader Shukry – Watani –
The lawyers who represent the family of the Copt Magdy Makeen, 54, who died of torture in the police station of al-Ameeriya in Cairo last December, have filed a complaint with the prosecution that the defence witnesses are being pressured to change their testimonies.
Makeen, who earned his living selling fish on his horse cart, died as a result of the torture inflicted on him by the police officer Karim Magdy who was arrested along with nine other policemen. [http://en.wataninet.com/news-2/crime/officer-prosecuted-for-torture-death-of-detainee-magdy-makeen-police-officer-prosecuted-for-torture-to-death-of-detainee/18186/]
Magdy was arrested by order of the prosecution once the official after-death report and the CCTV cameras at the police station proved Makeen had died as a result of the torture.
In a recent statement submitted to the prosecution, Makeen’s defence team denounced attempts made by friends of the defendants to pressure the witnesses into changing their testimonies. The statement reported that the witnesses were being subject to intimidation, threats, and even offered money to change their testimonies.
The defence team, which is formed of lawyers hired by Makeen’s family as well as a number of volunteer lawyers, said it was taking the necessary procedures to stop such attempts at misleading justice. It praised the competence and proficiency with which West Cairo prosecution has been dealing with the case, and called on the prosecution to provide protection for the witnesses. Meanwhile the case is still with the prosecution which is expected to refer it to criminal court shortly.