Monday, May 14, 2007

What Verdict?

UPDATE: Check out the new blog covering the Mid East: Outsider On The Inside

The "landmark verdict" that declared the trying of civilians in Egyptian military tribunals unconstitutional last week has been reversed by the Supreme Administrative Judge, through orders of the President:
CAIRO -- Egypt Monday upheld a decision by President Hosni Mubarak to have 40 members of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood group tried by a military court, a judicial source said.

Supreme Administrative Court Judge Essam Abdel Aziz reversed a May 8 ruling in a lower court which declared invalid the president's decision, the source said.

The military trial of the men, charged with money laundering and financing a banned organization, will resume June 3.

The judge at the May ruling, Mohammed Al Husseini, said a military court would not "assure a fair trial" and the verdict was then described as "historic and unprecedented" by the banned but tolerated Brotherhood.

One of the accused is the Brotherhood's financier and third-ranking official, Khayrat Al Shater.

The defendants and around 100 relatives had filed a suit against Mubarak but the president's lawyers argued that he had "absolute power" in the matter.

Husseini said "there is nothing in Egyptian law called absolute power, so [Mubarak's] decision is illegal, because every decision must be based on the law and the constitution."

Egyptian authorities have kept Shater and the other accused behind bars in spite of a civilian court order in January to free the men. (Middle East Times)
Verdict: Military Tribunals For Civilians "Unconstitutional"
Verdict Challenged By Government

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