Top News: Court Sentences Brotherhood Leaders Badie, Hegazy, and Beltagy to Death

An Egyptian criminal court sentenced a number of top Muslim Brotherhood leaders to death Thursday.


Cabinet committee granted power to seize, manage Brotherhood assets

The Justice Ministry formed a committee, headed by Justice Minister Nayer Othman, to identify the Muslim Brotherhood’s financial activities and holdings, following a court order issued in September 2013 to freeze and confiscate all its assets. The committee, tasked with locating and seizing Brotherhood assets, will now manage them as well, the government said on Friday. Previously, the committee’s role had been restricted to identifying and locating such assets, and ordering other state entities, such as the Central Bank of Egypt and the Egyptian Exchange, to freeze and confiscate them. [Mada Masr, 6/20/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Egyptian minister orders 7 am starts for department heads | Aswat Masriya
  • Minister of Education launches book “Values, Ethics, and Citizenship” | Ahram (Arabic)


Court sentences Brotherhood leaders Badie, Hegazy and Beltagy to death
An Egyptian criminal court sentenced a number of top Muslim Brotherhood leaders to death Thursday. The convicted include the Brotherhood’s supreme guide, Mohamed Badie and Mohamed al-Beltagy, as well as Safwat Hegazy and eleven others. The sentences will be carried out pending the religious advice of Egypt’s top cleric, the Grand Mufti, who must give an opinion on the proposed death sentences before they can be confirmed. The court’s final verdicts are expected on August 3, after which the defendants can appeal. The defendants, four of whom were tried in absentia, were found guilty of killing ten people and injuring twenty others during violent clashes around the Istiqama Mosque in Giza last July. They were also charged with inciting violence, using force against state servants, rioting, vandalizing public and private property and belonging to a terrorist organization. Badie has already been referred to the Mufti with a death sentence recommendation once on a separate set of charges, with a final verdict expected on Saturday. In response to the sentence, Beltagy’s family issued a statement saying that there is no longer a sense of justice in Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood also criticized the sentences, and threatened to continue demonstrations. [DNE, Egypt Independent, AP, Reuters, 6/19/2014]

Morsi presidential advisors referred to disciplinary council
Cairo University President Gaber Nassar said in a news conference on Thursday that the University Council referred ten professors who were advisors to deposed President Mohamed Morsi to a disciplinary council for allegedly embezzling funds from the university. “We are preparing a memorandum with our investigations for the public prosecution,” he said, adding that Pakinam al-Sharqawy, Morsi’s political advisor, would not be referred to the public prosecution but would only be referred to a disciplinary board for inciting violence on campus. Nassar also said that Professor Seif Abdel Fattah will be referred to the public prosecution for obtaining unearned scientific advantages and not for embezzling funds. [AMAY, 6/19/2014]

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Investment minister says capital gains tax ‘pivotal’ to Egypt’s budget
Egypt’s stocks ended the trading week in the red, with investors concerned about a statement by the newly appointed investment minister on a possible 10 percent capital gains tax, according to an analyst. Sherif Salman, the new investment minister, stated on Thursday that the government does not intend to reverse a decision to impose taxes on investors’ profits and dividends in the stock market. Eissa Fathy, the vice head of the securities division at the Cairo Chamber of Commerce, told Ahram Online that investors have ignored positive news as they were more impacted by the tax updates. The president is yet to approve the tax. [Ahram Online, SIS, 6/19/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Finance Minister: Establishing a bank for ideas, solving problems to develop work | SIS
  • Egypt boasts sixty companies among Forbes top 500 in Arab world | Ahram Online
  • Industry Minister: Negotiations to sign free trade agreement between Egypt, EAEC to start soon | SIS
  • Minister: Oil sector carries out ambitious program to increase natural gas production | SIS
  • Egypt, Jordan review energy collaboration | Amwal Al-Ghad


Rights campaign: 31 detainees from January protests released
Dozens of protesters who were detained on January 25 of this year as part of demonstrations to mark the third anniversary of the 2011 uprising were acquitted by the South Giza Court on Thursday, according to a local rights campaign, Freedom for the Brave. The group said that thirty-one people who were detained for violating the protest law and belonging to a terrorist organization were fined EGP 50,000 ($6,990) each and then released. Meanwhile, opposition groups said on Thursday that they will march to Ittihadiya presidential palace in Cairo on Saturday to denounce last year’s protest law. At a press conference, groups including the Way of the Revolution Front, the April 6 Youth Movement, the Revolutionary Socialists, the Strong Egypt Party, and the Constitution Party, said they will demand the cancellation of the protest law and the release of those jailed under its provisions. They have also called for an International Day of Solidarity with Egyptian Detainees on Saturday, an initiative to support detainees by demonstrating in front of Egyptian embassies in London, Paris, Berlin and other cities. [Ahram Online, Mada Masr, 6/19/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • NGOs raise human rights concerns before UNHRC | DNE
  • Clocks in Egypt to go back one hour during Ramadan | Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, SIS
  • Mubarak undergoes surgery on left thigh bone | Egypt Independent
  • Endowments ministry closely monitors Friday sermons | Aswat Masriya
  • Alexandria bans leading Salafi figures from preaching | Mada Masr
  • Government announces campaign to save youth from atheism | Mada Masr
  • Minister of Manpower meets with workers of Zad | AMAY (Arabic)

Two die in clashes with Brotherhood supporters in Matariya
Two people were killed in clashes between Muslim Brotherhood supporters and residents in Cairo’s Matariya. According to reports from daily Al Masry Al Youm, the Brotherhood supporters were armed. Police intervened to disperse the clashes. Meanwhile Giza’s Boulaq al-Dakrur witnessed similar clashes where at least three were wounded, two by live bullets and one by birdshot. [AMAY (Arabic), 6/20/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Customs seizes 90 tons of gasoline headed for Turkey | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Defense Minister affirms capabilities, symbolic role of armed forces | EGYNews (Arabic), Shorouk (Arabic), AMAY (Arabic)
  • Assistant interior minister for human rights coordinates with security directorates to combat sexual assault | Ahram (Arabic)


Egyptian truck drivers in Libya released
Over seventy Egyptian trucks and their drivers detained by Libyan gunmen near Benghazi started crossing the Egyptian border after being freed on Friday at dawn. Gamal Aoun, chief of the drivers of Gharbiya, said that the Egyptian Intelligence Bureau succeeded in releasing approximately 300 Egyptian drivers that were abducted by gunmen in the Libyan region of Ajdabiya. The State Information Service reported that the kidnappers held the Egyptian truck drivers in order to exercise pressures on the Egyptian government to free a Libyan arrested and convicted for life in prison over cross border smuggling charges. [DNE, AMAY (Arabic), 6/20/2014]

Sudan asks Egypt to rejoin Nile Basin body
Sudan on Thursday appealed for Egypt to resume full participation in a ten-nation Nile River forum, four years after Cairo withdrew over fears for its access to the crucial water source. Egypt has limited its participation in the Nile Basin Initiative since 2010 when Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania signed a new treaty on equitable sharing of Nile waters. Burundi and Kenya later also inked the deal which stripped Egypt of its power to veto upstream irrigation and hydropower projects. [AFP, DNE, Ahram Gateway (Arabic), 6/19/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Anti-Brotherhood front reports group’s alleged crimes to US Secretary of Defense | Egypt Independent
  • Arab Parliaments Organization welcomes conference of Egypt donors | Egypt Independent, SIS
  • PM approves request to list Egyptian workers returning from Iraq | SIS
  • FM receives phone call from French counterpart | SIS, AMAY (Arabic)
  • Portuguese president greets Sisi on election win | SIS, Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
  • Egypt’s ambassador in Equatorial Guinea says President Obiang looks forward to Sisi visit | EGYNews (Arabic), Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
  • Sisi thanks Sultan Qaboos for congratulations | Ahram (Arabic)