Trial opens of Egyptians charged with smuggling arms from Sudan
Four Egyptians accused of smuggling arms from Sudan pleaded not guilty on Saturday at the beginning of their trial before the high state security court in Cairo, according to judicial sources.
Tourist agent Mahmoud Abdel Satar, 31; herdsman Issa Khalil, 24; driver Mahmoud Awwad, 21; and worker Mohammed Rahma, 28, are accused of "possessing without authorization 119 automatic weapons and munitions" and bringing them into Egypt from Sudan illegally, the sources added.
The verdicts of this court are not subject to the normal appeals process, and can only be annulled by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Police are still searching for a leading Sudanese arms smuggler they claim is the group’s leader, although his identity was not revealed.
The men allegedly used camels and cattle to transport the weapons on rural back-roads from Sudan into Egypt, and then brought them to the Egyptian capital using vehicles.
Police arrested the men back in June after capturing them in the act, and they were formally charged in August, the sources said, cited by AFP.
The defendants confessed under interrogation they had bought the weapons from a Sudanese merchant working in the arms and antiquities trade. (Albawaba.com)