SOAS 'cheekbiter' trial is delayed

By Jessica Elgot, September 15, 2011

The trial of the man who allegedly bit the cheek of a pro-Israel activist at SOAS is to be delayed by a further eight weeks.

Despite the alleged assault occurring in March, defendant Mohamed Abdelkarim, 42, had requested that the trial should be delayed further, because he was completing his PhD.

He faces a charge of common assault after allegedly biting a pro-Israel demonstrator at a Celebrate Palestine event as part of Israel Apartheid week.

The trial at Highbury Magistrates Court, which has already been adjourned once before, was set for Monday but the Crown Prosecution Service failed to deliver the appropriate documents to the defence on time and representatives for Mr Abdelkarim asked magistrates for an adjournment, which was granted.

But Mr Abdelkarim disagreed with the proposed date of November 16 for a new trial date, because he would be preparing for his viva – the oral examination at the end of a PhD.

Although initially sympathetic, magistrates eventually dismissed the suggestion that the trial should be delayed until January 2012, almost a year after the attack took place.

The trial will now take place on November 10.

Last updated: 1:42pm, September 15 2011