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The People's Court

In 1971 a people's court was established to try members of the former royal family, the prime ministers and other officials of the monarchical regime, people accused of rigging elections in behalf of that regime, and journalists and editors accused of corrupting public opinion before the revolution. A member of the RCC presided over the court, which also included one representative each from the armed forces, the Islamic University, the Supreme Court, and the police. Trials and retrials continued at least as late as 1975, when former King Idris was sentenced to death in absentia. An amnesty for some of those sentenced in 1971 was granted by the RCC in 1976.

With matters pertaining to the former monarchical regime having been resolved, it appeared that several people's courts were being used in the late 1970s to try crimes against the postrevolutionary state. In January 1977, a new people's court was formed to try political detainees. The Decision on the Protection of the Revolution, issued December 11, 1969, generally defined crimes against the state as those involving attempted forcible overthrow of the ruling regime or otherwise rallying opposition to it. Such crimes may be referred to a people's court, but plots and conspiracies against the state are usually referred to special military courts created on an ad hoc basis for that purpose. The military courts and the people's courts have been criticized for violating the legal rights of defendants in political cases (see Criminal Justice System , ch. 5).

Data as of 1987