By Marwa Al-A’asar
CAIRO: The head of the South Giza Court rejected Monday the request of former TV host and columnist Hamdy Qandil’s defense team to transfer jurisdiction of his trial to another court.
Qandil is accused of “defaming and insulting” Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmed Aboul Gheit in a column he published in independent daily Al-Shorouk on May 3, 2010.
“Though I should not comment on court orders, I believe there is no justification for declining our request,” Assem Qandil, the defendant’s brother and a defense team member, told Daily News Egypt.
On Dec. 18, 2010, the defendant’s defense team called on the court to step down, claiming that the judge appeared “biased” towards the opponent.
Gamal Eid, a defense team member, previously told Daily News Egypt that — during the previous hearing — the judge did not allow Qandil’s lawyers to make their pleas or to present their demands, allocating the majority of the hearing to hear Aboul Gheit’s lawyers’ case.
The 12 members of the defense team had previously called on the court to summon Aboul Gheit to testify in person. Yet the court rejected the request.
“The judge told us ?you want to bring Aboul Gheit here to insult him,’” Qandil said.
“Usually the opponent should appear before the court to give his testimony,” he added. “Aboul Gheit’s presence can alter the course of the case.”