Marc Wolfe said during a pre-arraignment hearing that his client, a Coptic Christian, fears that video footage or photographs of his hearings could get be seen in Egypt and endanger Coptic Christian family members in the predominantly Muslim country.
"We're very concerned about this and reasonably concerned," Wolfe said.
Bassaly, who is charged with shooting his mother, Yvonne Bassaly, to death outside St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church in Burr Ridge, was the subject of a Department of Homeland Security investigation related to fake asylum letters found in his possession. The Doings reported that he may have been posing as an attorney and using the fake letters to help St. Mark members seek asylum.
Wolfe said the fears his client has about cameras in the courtroom are exactly the kind of fears that lead Egyptians to seek asylum in the U.S.
"It's important this courtroom not be open to television, et cetera," Wolfe said.
Guerin overruled the objection and issued a standing order allowing media outlets to seek permission to bring cameras into his courtroom. On Friday, there was one NBC 5 video camera and one still camera capturing the hearing.
During a 15-minute break in between the hearing on Bassaly's objection and his arraignment, Bassaly could be overheard telling Wolfe, "They're going to be killed. This is not a joke."
Wolfe mentioned the Muslim Brotherhood to Guerin as an Egyptian organization his client fears could go after his family members.
With the cameras in the courtroom, Bassaly pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.
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