Prosecution case against Ibrahim Halawa closes

Simon Coveney
Simon Coveney

The prosecution case against Irish citizen Ibrahim Halawa has come to a close, Government officials have confirmed.

Mr Halawa is one of hundreds of people who are being tried in mass trial for serious offences related to alleged participation in a political protest, all of which he strongly denies.

Now 21, Mr Halawa was 17 at the time of his arrest in 2013, and his lawyers fear he may face the death penalty if convicted.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney met with Mr Halawa’s family in Ireland last week.

Irish Embassy officials were present in court yesterday to observe and monitor the trial proceedings. The main development at yesterday’s hearing was the closing presentation by the prosecutors.

Speaking afterwards, Mr Coveney said: “I welcome the fact that we have now reached the end of the prosecution case.

“I also welcome the fact that the defendants and their lawyers will now have their opportunity to set out their arguments responding to the prosecution case and evidence.

“The judge has announced that the next hearing will take place on 1st August 2017.

“When the Taoiseach and I met with Ibrahim Halawa’s family last week, we gave them strong reassurances that we will continue to maintain pressure in order to ensure that this issue is resolved, and that this young Irish citizen is returned to his home and his family as soon as possible.

“I told them on that occasion - and I want to underline again today - that this case will remain our highest priority until it is resolved.”