Lawyers’ Syndicate committees reject judges handling former officials’ cases

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CAIRO: The freedoms and human rights committees at the Lawyers’ Syndicate initiated a campaign Tuesday against assigning cases of ousted regime figures to certain judicial constituencies "notorious for their pro-regime rulings."

Both cases of former minister of interior Habib El-Adly, and National Democratic Party (NDP) official Ahmed Ezz were assigned to the constituency of Judge Adel Abdel-Salam which the committees said is known for handling political cases and "always ruled against opposers of the ousted regime."

Both cases were assigned by head of the Cairo Appeals Court, Omar Abdel Aziz, who is ousted president Mubarak’s cousin and was the head of the judicial committee monitoring the 2010 legislative elections that saw rampant fraud, according to observers.

"There are still corrupt figures within the judicial authority who work on assigning certain cases to certain judicial constituencies who deliberately issue false rulings which are challenged at the cassation court and then the suspects are ruled innocent," said Gamal Tag El-Din, general coordinator of the freedoms committee at the Lawyers’ Syndicate.

Four complaints were filed to the prosecutor general against Abdel-Salam by judges accusing him of cooperating with the disbanded State Security agency to issue politicized rulings in political cases.

"One of the documents found at State Security headquarters showed that Abdel-Salam received instructions on what rulings to issue," claimed Mamdouh Ismail, head of the syndicate’s human rights committee.

Abdel-Salam was the judge who ruled on the cases of Ayman Nour’s Al-Ghad forged proxies case, Muslim Brotherhood figure Khairat Al-Shater’s case and issued the death sentence ruling against Hisham Talaat Mostafa.

The committees demanded that the Appeals Court’s general assembly assign cases instead of Abdel-Aziz and not assign any cases to Abdel-Salam.

"We refuse the politicization of the judiciary and we urge judges to begin cleansing the judicial authority of corruption," Ismail said.

A judicial source at Cairo Appeals Court was quoted by MENA official news agency as saying that assigning criminal cases among various constituencies depends on the case’s number, the police station where the case was reported and according to work distribution accredited by the general assembly.

"There is no intervention by the presidency of the court or any other entity in this process to assign a certain case to a certain constituency," the source said.
Tag El-Din refused statements by Prosecutor General Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud in which he said that Mubarak wasn’t facing any criminal charges holding him responsible for killing protesters during the January 25 Revolution.

He said that if Mahmoud didn’t take firm action against those responsible for killing protesters, they would demand his resignation.

"The freedoms committee filed one of the first complaints against Mubarak accusing him of killing protesters as the head of the Supreme Police Council who is responsible for the action of his subordinates if not by direct orders then by silence," Tag El-Din said.

"We fear that Mahmoud has a certain agenda or is engaged in deals with the ousted regime ensuring that Mubarak is not prosecuted," he claimed.

A man holds a sign that reads in Arabic, "The youth of the January 25 revolution demand the execution of the butcher" and shows a noose around the neck of former Egyptian Interior Minister Habib Al-Adly during a protest outside the New Cairo court house in Cairo, on March 5. (AFP PHOTO / STR)



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