CAIRO: After successfully appealing her indictment for libel in a Giza court, Amira Malash, a journalist with Al-Fajr, is making an attempt at reconciliation with her accuser to put “an end to this case.
In Wednesday’s session, the Giza court reviewed the attorney’s request concerning the appeal and accepted a postponement of the case until May. The attorney informed the Giza court judge that the defendant wants to reconcile.
Initially the court sentenced Malash to one year in prison for allegedly printing libelous information about an Egyptian judge who was accused of corruption in an Alexandria court. Malash, who pleaded innocent, said she had obtained the information through official records and court sessions that she had been assigned to cover.
Malash told The Daily Star Egypt earlier that the judge who looked into her case was “hostile and “apparently angry at reporters. Malash, who left the Giza courthouse only minutes before the sentence was announced, had said it “was clear from the start that the judge was biased against Malash and favored the plaintiff, since he was a judge himself.
Malash said her indictment seemed predetermined, adding that her lawyers were not given a chance to defend her case. Press reports at the time reported that it only took the judge “seven minutes to wrap up the case and pronounce a verdict.
At first refusing to grant her appeal, members of the judiciary deemed Malash’s sentence mandatory. Due to pressure from the media and her attorney’s insistence on taking the court to the cassation court, Malash succeeded in appealing.
“I just want to stay with my family, Malash had told The Daily Star Egypt prior to the acceptance of appeal. She left home in fear of being arrested and was staying with some distant acquaintances. “I need my family’s support. All I want is my sentence to be frozen so I can walk the streets freely.
The appeal thus annulled the sentence temporarily and gave Malash the chance to be free to work as long as her case is being reviewed.
Meanwhile, Malash’s plaintiff has asked Al-Fajr newspaper to publish an apology, “One that honors judges and fits the judiciary’s status in society. The newspaper agreed to print the apology in return for being granted a pardon for their reporter.
Although she insisted that “it is just a news story . not a criminal act and that her information was accurate, Malash’s attorney told the press that she has resorted to reconciliation and apologizing to avoid imprisonment.