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TV host faces defamation trial over police raid on Cairo bathhouse

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TV host faces defamation trial over police raid on Cairo bathhouse

Controversial television presenter Mona Iraqi will face trial in April on charges of defaming a number of men who were charged with "debauchery" after a police raid on a central Cairo bathhouse.

Iraqi, who was referred to trial by the prosecution along with Tarek Nour, the owner of Al-Qahera Wal Nas channel on which her investigative news show is broadcast, claimed that she had led police to the bathhouse.

Iraqi was photographed during the raid taking pictures of the men being dragged semi-naked out of the bathhouse by the police, a scene that caused widespread controversy.

Twenty-six men were arrested and charged with debauchery, a term often used in Egyptian law to refer to homosexual conduct, along with other related charges.

In January they were all found innocent, with the court arguing that the evidence provided was not sufficient and that forensics showed no evidence that the accused had engaged in homosexual acts.

Tarek El-Awady, a lawyer representing some of the defendants in the case, filed a defamation lawsuit against Iraqi and Nour accusing them of spreading lies about his clients.  Iraqi has declined to apologise.

The trial of Iraqi and Nour will begin at the Court of Misdemeanour on 5 April.

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