The Administrative Court upheld Tuesday the implementation of an earlier verdict annulling the Egyptian-Saudi maritime border agreement, known as the “Red Sea islands” case, according to lawyer Khaled Ali.
The decision came as the court rejected a request by the state to halt the implementation of the verdict issued on 21 June, on the grounds that it submitted an appeal against the verdict.
However, Ali, the state’s legal opponent in the case, reported that the court did not just reject the request, but also fined the government EGP 800.
“The court proved today that all claims by the government that the annulment verdict wasn’t obligatory were wrong, and that the verdict is effective even if this has to be through forceful means, ”Ali told Daily News Egypt at the State Council on Tuesday.
He provided a copy of the court’s details of the verdict from Ali. The court said it punished the government for violating the law by not executing a court order that was not revoked.
The court further rejected a verdict issued on 29 September by the Urgent Affairs Court, stating that the verdict has been completely disregarded and cannot stand in the way of the implementation of the annulment because the matter falls out of that court’s authority.
“The Urgent Affairs Court violated the authority of the High Administrative Court and State Council, according to Article 190 of the Constitution,”Tuesday’s verdict read.
The constitutional article stipulates:“The State Council is an autonomous judicial body, and it shall have the exclusive jurisdiction to settle administrative disputes and disputes relevant to the execution of all its rulings.” In the verdict’s details, the court insisted on
“all of its rulings” to argue that this excludes any interference from other courts.
The case is disputed between the government, which concluded the demarcation deal on 8 April, and opponents who argued that the Red Sea islands Tiran and Sanafir were Egyptian lands, refusing to cede their sovereignty to Saudi Arabia. Protests erupted in April
against the deal.
The government has so far lost the case in court. Furthermore, on two instances, the state mistakenly made pro-annulment arguments in court, including a lawyer’s slip of the tongue asserting the islands’ sovereignty.
“The state didn’t realise that among the documents it presented, some were in favour of our argument that the lands are Egyptian,”Ali said Tuesday. Lawyer Malek Adly told Daily News Egypt on Tuesday that the court is convinced that the government and the president cannot violate the Constitution under any circumstances. “Supporters of the regime can claim as they wish in the media that giving the islands will be in return for aid, so they can justify the signing of the deal as they please, but not the court. The court is fighting so that the law and the Constitution prevail, ”Adly said.
According to Article 151 of the Constitution, relinquishing authority over territory is a violation, even if it was ratified by the parliament and passed by public referendum.
The High Administrative Court will rule in the actual state appeal in the session scheduled on 5 December.