CAIRO: The head of the Judges’ Club submitted a comprehensive file on the crisis between lawyers and judges to the public prosecutor, according to reports Monday.
Counselor Ahmed El-Zend told the media that the club’s Crisis Management Committee had documented lawyers’ violations and anti-judicial protests supported with photos, videos of lawyers’ comments on TV talk shows and archived news reports.
However, Lawyers’ Syndicate board member Mohamed Abdel-Ghaffar is skeptical about these reports saying that journalists sometimes tend to exaggerate.
“Whatever is published by newspapers and news agencies, regardless of their status, [may not] be totally accurate,” he argued.
“I haven’t heard about [El-Zend presenting the file] but … the syndicate will never leave a lawyer who committed any violations … without punishment,” Abdel-Ghaffar told Daily News Egypt.
According to Abdel-Ghaffar, there were some “relative infringements [surrounding the imprisonment of lawyers Ehab Saey El-Din and Moustafa Fatouh] that resulted from [a state of] bitterness … and … shock.”
Meanwhile, Minister of Justice Mamdouh Marei and Public Prosecutor Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud reportedly rejected the Lawyers’ Syndicate’s recent recommendations for resolving the crisis.
Judicial sources told Al-Shorouk newspaper Monday that the syndicate suggestions conflicted with the laws governing the judicial authority, such as, for instance the proposal that a judge not a prosecutor should investigate disputes between lawyers and prosecutors.
The sources regarded the suggestion as overstepping the prosecution’s investigative authority.
Even though Abdel-Ghaffar was skeptical that lawyers made this proposal, he argued that the law allows judges to investigate an incident of this kind.
If this suggestion is applied, it will help avoid any “awkwardness” in cases of clashes between lawyers and prosecutors, he explained.
During an emergency board meeting on Friday, the syndicate also called on Marei to convene a committee of representatives from the Supreme Judicial Council, the syndicate board, the State Council, the Public Prosecution, the Administrative Prosecution and the State Lawsuits Authority to meet at least every two months.
The syndicate board recommended that the committee establish the foundation of the relationship between lawyers and judges and prosecutors in order to avoid possible conflicts between the two sides by rendering binding decisions.
Last month, lawyers Saey El-Din and Fatouh were found guilty of assaulting and offending Basem Abu El-Rous, the local prosecutor in Tanta city, the capital of Gharbeya governorate.
The two lawyers had claimed earlier that they were insulted and attacked by the prosecutor first. But during a rushed one-day trial, they were sentenced to five years in prison, which caused outrage among lawyers and a stand-off between them and judges and prosecutors.
In response to the verdict, thousands of lawyers held strikes and sit-ins for several days nationwide, which further heightened the tension between the two camps.