The trial of a man charged with trying to bomb a synagogue in the heart of Cairo has been delayed for a second time until December 22, Egyptian officials said yesterday.
The Cairo Criminal Court initially said it would delay the trial of Jamal Hussein Ahmad, a 49-year-old tailor, until October 16, citing the defendant's mental health.
But the court decided for a second time to postpone the trial to give a team of psychiatrists more time to assess the defendant.
According to prosecutors, Ahmad threw an "improvised explosive device" in February at Egypt's largest synagogue. It is the only one still conducting services for Cairo's tiny Jewish community.
No one was hurt and no property was damaged in the attack.
Ahmad was admitted to a mental institution and was examined by a number of doctors who are expected to report their findings to the court.
Prosecutors have asked for the maximum sentence of 25 years in prison. They have charged Ahmad with possession of unlicensed explosives with the intention of carrying out a "terrorist-like act."
At the time of the attack, police told the German Press Agency DPA that Ahmad had asked to see a room at a hotel opposite the synagogue.
He then allegedly threw a bag out a lobby window and fled though an alley next to the hotel.
Egypt's Interior Ministry has said that the suspect has a record of extremism and drug abuse, and that he told authorities he was angered by Israeli policies in the Palestinian territories.
But Ahmad has denied allegations that he took part in the attack and claims he knew nothing about it prior to his arrest.