Key figure in Sadat case switches plea to innocent

The principal defendant accused of assassinating Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, Army Lt. Khaled Islambouli, defiantly pleaded guilty but has reversed his plea to innocent after his lawyer intervened. Mr. Islambouli, who is charged with leading the four-man assassination squad, said he killed Mr. Sadat because the cause of Islam was at stake. All 23 other defendants have pleaded innocent.

The three-man supreme military court has adjourned the closed-door hearings until Dec. 5. After the military trial, the 24 defendants will be tried by another court on charges of conspiracy to overthrow the government, the newspaper Al-Akhbar reports.

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