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D.A. charges 'Irvine 11' with misdemeanors

Group of students from UCI, UC Riverside will face arraignment on March 11. Charges include conspiracy to disturb a meeting.

February 04, 2011|By Joseph Serna, joseph.serna@latimes.com

That same day, Feb. 6, Abdelgany allegedly e-mailed MSU's board members and told them that if they were questioned about the protest, they should blame it on the individuals involved, not the MSU. He said that way, it would take heat off the MSU from UCI administrators.

MSU was ultimately suspended as a student group for six months because of the Oren protest. It is still on probation until December 2012.

The day before the protest, prosecutors allege Abdelgany told "nondisruptors" to cheer after protesters shouted at Oren. Among the statements hurled at the ambassador were, "Michael Oren, you are a war criminal," and "You, sir, are an accomplice to genocide."

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Friday's charges come days after more than 40 activists protested outside of the district attorney's office in Santa Ana, calling for prosecutors to drop any criminal investigation into the Irvine 11. They claimed prosecutors were trying to stifle free speech for political reasons.

"People will say it's political. They don't know what kind of evidence we have," said Susan Schroeder, chief of staff for the district attorney. "We have to base our judgment on facts and the law, and not what a popular position may be. It's the conduct. You don't get to violate other people's rights."

The 11 defendants are scheduled to be arraigned March 11 at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana. A time and courtroom have yet to be determined.

Defendants

Osama Ahmed Shabaik, 22

Asaad Mohamedidris Traina, 19

Joseph Tamim Haider, 23

Mohammad Uns Qureashi, 19

Ali Mohammad Sayeed, 23

Taher Mutaz Herzallah, 21

Khalid Bahgat Akari, 19

Shaheen Waleed Nassar, 21

Mohamed Mohy-Eldeen Abdelgany, 23

Aslam Abbasi Akhtar, 23

Hakim Nasreddine Kebir, 20

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