Eissa trial begins

Ibrahim Eissa's latest trial started today, and while he decided not to attend he may have an interesting defense strategy based on his allegations that President Mubarak is in poor health:
Eissa pointed out that the president's health would be raised at each court hearing, "meaning that those who brought the case want his health to be discussed."

As with other trials of journalists, the case against Eissa has been brought by a private individual since Egyptian law allows citizens to lodge complaints which can then lead to criminal convictions.

Eissa is now the target of eight such private cases, something he called "proof of the judicial farce" being played out against him.

"I hope the case will be decided in accordance with the law and that jailing journalists will be a red line -- even if I have no faith in this regime," said the editor.
In that case, why not get an expert witness to conduct a medical examination of Mubarak to ascertain that he is, in fact, in good health and thus that the rumors are baseless? Brilliant, even if I doubt the judge will go for it.
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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.