Judge Magdy Hussein issued an arrest warrant on Tuesday for former Minister of Justice Ahmed Mekki, summoning him to court.
The summoning is to testify in the lawsuit filed against 22 judges who oversaw the parliamentary elections held in 2005, reported state-run Al-Ahram. The plaintiffs allege the elections were rigged.
Mekki was summoned to court for the case, but failed to show up without giving any reasons for his absence, which caused Hussein to issue the arrest warrant, reported Al-Ahram. The former minister was originally summoned to court alongside chairman of the 2012 constituent assembly Hossam El-Gheriany, councillors Noha Al-Zeiny and Zakareya Abdel Aziz, and former prosecutor general Talaat Abdallah.
Abdallah was Secretary General of the fact-finding committee tasked with investigating allegations of fraud in 2005, whereas Mekki was chairman of the committee.
Mekki could not be reached for comment. El-Gheriany told Daily News Egypt that Hussein called him on Monday night to ask why Mekki did not show up in court.
“I explained that Mekki is sick and that he doesn’t leave his home,” El-Geriany said. “I also added that the trains moving from Alexandria, where Mekki resides, to Cairo, where the trial is held, have stopped.”
El-Gheriany said the he testified in court regarding this case and was surprised to hear about the arrest warrant issued against Mekki. “How could Hussein tell that Mekki has a valuable testimony? Only because some [who] allege he does?” El-Gheriany questioned, adding that “no judge would ever refuse to testify in court.”
National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) member Ragia Omran filed the lawsuit alongside other lawyers in May. Ahmed Hafez, the Executive Director at Shayfeencom, the election monitoring group, said the lawsuit was first filed by Shayfeencom closely after the 2005 elections.
Mekki was appointed as justice minister by former Prime Minister Hesham Qandil in 2012. Abdallah was appointed by ousted President Mohamed Morsi in November 2012 through a constitutional declaration, which sacked previous Prosecutor General Abdel Meguid Mahmoud and granted Morsi sweeping powers. The declaration was widely criticised and started a wave of opposition to Morsi, which ended with his ouster on 3 July.