CAIRO: The recent relocation of local Tanta city prosecutor Basem Abu El-Rous to his hometown is an attempt to appease him, lawyer Sayed El-Fiki told Daily News Egypt Monday.
Abu El-Rous is in the heart of a case that has led to a two-month stand-off between lawyers on the one hand and judges and prosecutors on the other.
He is the claimant in a case against lawyers Ehab Saey El-Din and Moustafa Fatouh who were found guilty of assaulting and offending him at his office in Tanta, the capital of Gharbeya governorate.
Public Prosecutor Abdel Meguid Mahmoud transferred Abu El-Rous to Shebeen El-Koum, the capital of Menufeya governorate, where he has already reported for duty.
“It is not a usual procedure to relocate a prosecutor at an early stage of his career to his hometown … which indicates that no charges will be brought against him as to the complaint filed by lawyers Saey El-Din and Fatouh [accusing him of attacking them] first,” El-Fiki added.
During a rushed trial in June, Saey El-Din and Fatouh were sentenced to five years in prison, though they claimed that they were hit by Abu El-Rous and his office security first.
In response to the verdict, thousands of lawyers held several strikes and sit-ins nationwide, which further heightened the tension between lawyers and judges and prosecutors.
At the latest hearing on July 18, the defense team led by Lawyers’ Syndicate Chairman Hamdy Khalifa asked for the temporary suspension of the verdict and the release of the two lawyers on bail until the investigation into their complaint against Abu El-Rous and the policemen was complete.
The court order, however, disappointed many lawyers who hoped their colleagues would be released on bail until the coming session.
The defense team also refuted the validity of the verdict.
“The initial ruling was immediately carried out. [Saey El-Din and Fatouh] should have been released on bail [until the appeals court resolves the case],” syndicate board member Mohamed Abdel-Ghaffar previously told Daily News Egypt.
“Immediate rulings are only handed down in crimes like robbery and prostitution,” added Abdel-Ghaffar, who is also a member of the defense team.
The two defendants had earlier requested that an investigative judge, rather than a prosecutor, should investigate the incident based on Articles 50 and 64 of the Legal Profession Law.
“The law dictates that if, for example, a lawyer [allegedly] attacks a prosecutor, the investigation cannot be carried out by a prosecutor,” Abdel-Ghaffar explained.
However, according to Abdel-Ghaffar, the prosecution proceeded with the case to become the investigator and opponent at the same time.
Following the latest hearing, the Lawyers’ Syndicate ended its nationwide strike until a court verdict is announced next month, opting against escalation measures.
“It would be illogical to hold any strikes during the judicial vacation from Aug. 1-Sept.1,” El-Fiki noted.
The next appeal session is scheduled for Sept. 5 when the verdict is expected.