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      Cairo: Delay in Trial on Gas Exports to Israel

      Trial of officials over gas deal with Israel postponed to September.
      By Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 7/17/2011, 4:55 PM / Last Update: 7/17/2011, 5:07 PM

      Flash 90

       

      The Criminal Court of Cairo decided Sunday to postpone until September 10 the trial of six officials accused of corruption in the gas exports to Israel. The delay is due to procedural considerations, according to Al Ahram.
       
      The court has permitted the defense lawyers to access the files of investigations against former president Hosni Mubarak on gas exports to Israel. The defense team has also been given permission to translate all contracts between Egyptian and Israeli authorities regarding gas exports.
       
      The most prominent defendant in the case is former petrol minister Sameh Fahmy.
       
      Last week, a bomb damaged the pipeline that transports gas from Egypt to Israel and Jordan. Blasts and attempted bombings were aimed at the pipeline in February, March and April as well. 
       
      On Tuesday, an unknown group placed explosives under the pipeline in the al-Taweel area at al-Arish in northern Sinai, a security source said. No casualties were immediately reported.
       
      A bomb shook the same pipeline July 4, cutting gas supplies to Israel and Jordan. No group claimed responsibility for either blast, according to the German News Agency.
       
      The gas exports are unpopular in Egypt, which has been sending gas to Israel since 2008 under a 15-year deal with preferential terms. Some observers suspect that the post-Mubarak interim regime is allowing the blasts to take place, even as Egyptian officials try to make changes in the deal.
       
      Anti-Israeli Egyptians have held protests against the continued supply of gas to Israel.