CAIRO: On Monday May 14, the Supreme Administrative Court ruled it lawful to put civilians on trial in military courts, thus rejecting an earlier verdict that was taken by the Administrative Court.
The new verdict came as an appeal of another verdict that the Administrative court announced two weeks ago indicating it illegal for the Egyptian president to transfer civilians to military tribunals, which resulted in releasing 40 high-ranking members of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB).
The new verdict ruled that the Egyptian president has the right to transfer civilians to military tribunals.
The Supreme Administrative Court s verdict goes with the constitution after its changes that the Egyptian people agreed on, said Haidar El Boghdady, a parliament member belonging to the National Democratic Party to The Daily Star Egypt.
El Boghdady said that there is an article in the renewed constitution that gives the Egyptian president the right to transfer any citizen to any type of court to face trial.
The Supreme Administrative Court has executed a constitutional right, according to El Boghdady.
On the other hand, Atef El Bana, a lawyer and professor of constitutional law, told The Daily Star Egypt that the first verdict of the Administrative Court was totally legal.
The Administrative court had found it unconstitutional to trial civilians in front of military courts, and ruled with a verdict that has very valid and correct legal reasons, El Bana said
However El Bana was unable to comment on the last verdict of the Supreme Administrative Court because he has not seen it yet.
Hamdy Hassan, parliament member affiliated with the MB group told The Daily Star Egypt that the new verdict illustrates a case of judges corruption.
According to Hassan, the Supreme Administrative court had given the case to a special committee that included judges working for governmental institutions, the Ministry of Tourism and the presidency to rule in a verdict that was initially filed by the president.
However, El Boghdady stressed that: The Egyptian Judiciary system is a fair and clean system and respects the constitution.
Abdel Moniem Abdel Maqsoud, MB lawyer, told The Daily Star Egypt that the case has to do with political concerns and not legal ones.
All of the procedures had hidden political drives to execute the Muslim Brotherhood group and have nothing to do with the law, Abdel Maqsoud said.
According to Abdel Maqsoud, the Supreme Administrative Court has made lots of mistakes and rejected all of the defense s demands. He, along with other lawyers, is working on petitions and cases to be filed at the civilian courts condemning the actions of Supreme Administrative Court in the case.
El Bana has also stated that he had adopted the case of civilians getting trialed in military courts since 1995, along with some other lawyers.
We have filed a case to not permit civilians to be transferred to military tribunals, El Bana said.
El Bana s case was rejected by the Supreme Constitutional Court and has not been ruled on until now.
Gamal Eid, executive director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, told The Daily Star Egypt, that the Supreme Administrative Court s verdict is a step backwards in citizens rights in Egypt.
According to Eid, most human rights organizations have welcomed the first verdict that ruled against transferring civilians to military tribunals.