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Halawa trial postponed for seventh time

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Ibrahim Halawa

Ibrahim Halawa

Somaia Halawa, Omaima Halawa and Fatima Halawa  hold a picture in support of their brother Ibrahim who is in prison awaiting trial in Egypt

Somaia Halawa, Omaima Halawa and Fatima Halawa hold a picture in support of their brother Ibrahim who is in prison awaiting trial in Egypt

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Ibrahim Halawa

THE trial of Dublin teenager Ibrahim Halawa has been pushed back yet again as he approaches his second anniversary in Egyptian jail.

He will return to trial, alongside 493 other defendants, on August 2.

He has been in prison since August 17 2013.

This is the seventh time that proceedings have been postponed or adjourned since Halawa was arrested during protests at the al-Fateh Mosque in Ramses Square.

Court proceedings did not go ahead yesterday because 16 defendants were not present, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs.

"The defence lawyers requested that the trial not proceed during the upcoming Ramadan period," a spokesperson said.

Irish officials were present during the hearing and the department has been providing consular assistance to the young man since his detention.

Mr Halawa's sister, Nusayba, spoke to the Herald yesterday about the family's despair at the latest development in his case.

They fear he will die in his cell if he is not given access to a specialist doctor to examine him for a heart condition they suspect he may have inherited from his father.

"Ibrahim has managed to survive there for almost two years, but who knows for how long he can continue to cope?"

"Everyone has their limits and we don't know what our limits are. Who is going to give him these years back?"

Her brother, who is now imprisoned in Wadi el Natrun outside of Cairo, has limited access to clean drinking water Ms Halawa said.

Halawa was just 17 years old when he was jailed.

Recently, it emerged that he is facing lesser charges than some of those he is due to be tried alongside.

His charges include being present at the Mosque and refusing to accept safe passage, Taoiseach Enda Kenny told the Dail in recent weeks.