Al-Zind’s long history of legal, personal disputes

Taha Sakr
3 Min Read
Judge Ahmed El-Zend was sworn in as the new Justice Minister (AFP File Photo)

Ahmed Al-Zind, who was dismissed Sunday from his position as minister of justice, became infamous due to his feuds with judges and influential media figures during his tenure as minister and head of the Judges’ Club.

Al-Zind was dismissed over controversial statements he made about the prophet during an interview broadcast on the privately-owned channel Sada El-Balad.

“I will imprison anyone who does wrong, even Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) himself,” he told TV anchor Hamdy Rizk.

Al-Zind’s list of accusations is extensive. Editor-in-Chief of Al Ahram Hesham Younis and his counterpart Gamal Sultan of Al Mesryoon newspaper were referred to criminal court over accusations of defaming Al-Zind. The editors were accused of publishing false news after publishing claims that Al-Zind had sold state land to relatives at low prices while he was head of the Judges’ Club.

The lawsuit also included other journalists from Al Ahram, Al Mesryoon, and Sawt El-Ummah.

While head of the Judges’ Club, Al-Zind terminated the membership of 75 judges who belonged to the “Independence Current” – which sought the judiciary’s independence from the state – after they signed a statement supporting Morsi following the former president’s expulsion from office.

Al-Zind also filed a lawsuit against the “Judges for Egypt” current after they declared the results of the 2012 presidential elections before the official declaration from the Supreme Electoral Commission.

In 2014, Al-Zind submitted a complaint to late prosecutor general Hisham Barakat, accusing judge Zakaria Shalash of insulting him in an interview with Al Mesryoon newspaper. Shalash had accused Al-Zind of interfering in judicial affairs while he was head of the Judges’ Club. Al-Zind’s accused Shalash and the journalist who conducted the interview of stating false accusations against him.

Being appointed minister of justice in 2015 did not prevent Al-Zind from entering into more feuds with fellow judges. Tanta Appeals Court judge Walid Al-Saffei was referred to the discipline council after Al-Zind accused him of insulting him. Al-Saffei has said that the Judges’ Club, under Al-Zind’s leadership, was transformed into a place for drinking tea.

Al-Zind also entered several disputes outside of the judges’ circle. In one of his most controversial battles, Al-Zind filed a lawsuit against Egypt’s chief auditor Hisham Geneina, accusing him of insulting judges and prosecution members by claiming that several judges have illegally acquired state land.

Aside from his extensive file of lawsuits and disputes with top officials, Al-Zind is also known for making fiery statements in the media. In January 2016, Al-Zind said he would condemn hundreds of thousands of Muslim Brotherhood figures to death in retribution for attacks against the police and armed forces in recent months.

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