Top News: Egypt Court Upholds Three Year Sentence Against Mubarak on Graft Charges

A Cairo criminal court has upheld a three-year sentence against Mubarak on graft charges, but the former strongman will return home since he has served the full sentence, his defense team said. The court reduced a sentence on his two sons, Gamal and Alaa, to three years – down from four – in the same case on graft charges. Mubarak’s two sons, who were out on bail, were moved to Tora prison soon after the court verdict while the former autocrat returned to a military hospital in order for the prosecution to calculate their time served,  security sources told Ahram Online. The Mubarak defense team said that the trio had spent the required detention period in jail, meaning that they will be released as soon as the prosecution confirms this fact. According to Egyptian law, pre-trial detention is counted as time served towards any possible sentence. If the conviction withstands appeal, it would officially establish Mubarak as a convicted criminal. [Mada MasrReutersAswat MasriyaAPAhram OnlineDNE, 5/9/2015]


Government committee says Abou-Treika partner in a Brotherhood-owned company
A government committee charged with seizing the assets of members of the Muslim Brotherhood said on Friday that it had confiscated assets belonging to Egyptian soccer player Mohamed Abou-Treika. The committee said it had issued a decision to confiscate tourism company Ashab Tours, which was founded in 2013 by Abou-Treika, and an unnamed member of the Brotherhood. The committee added that the manager of that company, Anas Mohamed Omar al-Kady, is a Brotherhood member and is currently detained pending a trial in Alexandria where he is accused of committing “hostile acts against the state.” The committee added that Kady used company funds to finance “terrorist attacks” and said the decision to confiscate the company was based on a court ruling related to his trial. Abou-Treika has already presented a petition against the decision. On Friday, he said via his Facebook and Twitter accounts that despite the ruling he would not leave Egypt. [Ahram Online, 5/8/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Parties debate new draft elections law | Cairo Post, DNE
  • Parliamentary election in September | Egypt Independent
  • Conservatives Party to launch ‘Unified Project’ coalition DNE
  • Zomor calls on Muslim Brotherhood to reconcile with Sisi’s regime | Cairo Post
  • Sabbahi says corruption, Mubarak’s policies still ongoing | Egypt Independent


Alaa Abdel Fattah’s suspended sentence upheld in arson case
Egypt’s Court of Cassation turned down on Monday a request for retrial by political activist Alaa Abdel Fattah, upholding his suspended year-in-prison sentence. Abdel Fattah was sentenced alongside his sister Mona Seif and ten other activists for illegal assembly in January 2014. The defendants were accused of torching the electoral headquarters of former minister and presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq in May 2012 and referred to court, despite Shafiq’s waiver of the charges. Abdel Fattah’s defense team had challenged the ruling, describing it as “void” for depending on a “contrived” State Security investigation. Abdel Fattah is serving a five-year sentence in a separate case after he was convicted of violating the protest law. [Cairo Post, Aswat Masriya, Egypt Independent, Ahram Online, 5/11/2015]

Police officer pleads innocent in Sabbagh case; Court adjourns Sabbagh protesters trial
An Egyptian court ordered in remand a police officer charged with killing leftist activist Shaimaa al-Sabbagh during a peaceful protest, adjourning the trial to May 14 after the first session was held on Sunday. The general prosecution had charged the policeman with shooting protesters with birdshot to intentionally hurt them. The defendant did not have the intention of “murder,” however, the prosecution said. As the prosecution read out the order of referral during the trial session, the defendant denied the accusations against him, Al-Ahram reported. However, he admitted that he was the masked person who appears in the photos, according to al-Haqanya, an independent human rights organization. In related news, Egypt’s misdemeanor court adjourned Saturday the trial of seventeen people who are charged with ”illegally protesting” as they took part in the peaceful march on during which Sabbagh was killed. The trial was adjourned to May 24. [Ahram Online, DNE, 5/10/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Court accepts appeal against acquittal of officer over killing protesters charges | DNE
  • ElBaradei addresses absence of “concept of justice” following controversial comments by justice minister | Aswat Masriya
  • Zamalek Club Ultras’ trial adjourned to June 8 | MENA
  • Egypt court convicts 14 in absentia to life for murder, attempted murder | Ahram Online
  • Calls for Egypt justice minister’s sacking over ‘lofty judges’ | AFP
  • GUC refers students to prosecution for sit-in | DNE
  • Detention renewed for ten Damietta female students | DNE
  • Al Jazeera trial adjourned to June | DNE


Egypt’s annual core, urban inflation slow in April
Egypt’s annual urban consumer inflation and core inflation both slowed in April, a reprieve from rising prices after two straight months of increasing inflation. The central bank kept its benchmark interest rates on hold at its last meeting in April, saying it had balanced improved economic growth in the second half of last year against accelerating inflation from volatile food items. The bank has now held rates steady following two consecutive meetings. [Reuters, 5/110/2015]

Also of Interest

  • EBRD invites EGX chairman to speak at its annual conference | Cairo Post
  • One-stop-shop to facilitate micro, small enterprises licenses | Cairo Post
  • Egypt’s inflation drops to 11 percent in April | Cairo Post, Aswat Masriya, Reuters
  • Central bank bids for 7B EGP in T-bills Sunday | Cairo Post, Reuters
  • Three quarters into fiscal year, deficit reaches 9.4 percent | Mada Masr
  • Report: Tax havens cost Egypt’s treasury billions | Mada Masr
  • UAE to deliver 50,000 housing units to Egypt | Aswat Masriya
  • 275 million euros allocated for drinking water, drainage in 65 projects | Egypt Independent
  • Sisi requests budget deficit decreased by EGP40 billion for 2015/16 | Egypt Independent
  • Egypt’s Amer Group jumps in Q1 profit | Reuters


Power cut takes Egyptian state TV off air for about fifty minutes
A power cut at the Egyptian state TV building took most state-run channels off the air for about 50 minutes on Saturday evening, state media reported. Local media outlets said Saturday evening’s interruption was the first time the mouthpiece of the state has gone dark since its inception in 1960. Egypt’s Minister of Electricity Mohammed Shaker, who was en route to Saudi Arabia at the time, immediately returned to Cairo to follow up on the matter, state media reported. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi met with Shaker and several other ministers Sunday, and stressed the need to take measures to prevent breakdowns like this in the future, Presidential Spokesman Alaa Youssef said in a statement. Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab ordered an investigation into the causes of the power cut. Egyptian Radio and Television Union head Essam al-Amir said the outage was caused by a technical problem at a power station. Osama Essran, the Deputy Minister of Electricity and Energy, said the power cut was caused by a malfunction in the main lighting system of the Maspero building in central Cairo. [AP, Ahram Online, 5/10/2015]

Special edition of Al-Watan newspaper confiscated
Al-Watan newspaper’s special edition, printed on the newspaper’s anniversary, was confiscated on Monday after print for its front-page headline, “Seven entities more powerful than Sisi.” The paper included a fifteen-page special report on these seven entities, which they said were corruption, businessmen, secret businesses, social media platforms, the interior ministry, media, and people of influence. An opinion article by a member of the editorial board, Alaa al-Ghetrify, published in the report was also removed. “This country is not heading anywhere good, and today is very strong proof that we are still on 24 January 2011. Simply, shred, ban and oppress,” Ghetrify said on his Facebook account. [DNE, 5/11/2015]

Also of Interest

  • 92 percent of married women have experienced FGM says ministry of health | Cairo Post
  • Jon Stewart of Egypt’ eyes next project after Harvard stint | AP Video: Photojournalist Ziada tells the story of 496 days behind bars | DNE
  • Police stormed Al-Azhar University campus twice in April: AFTE | DNE
  • License to demolish NDP headquarters issued | DNE
  • Journalists strike called for June 10 | DNE


Egyptian tribes pledge to battle Islamist militant groups
Thirty Egyptian tribes based in Sinai said on Sunday they would confront militant groups including an Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) affiliate that has killed hundreds of soldiers and police, in a possible boost to Egypt’s efforts to improve security. The Sinai Tribal Federation said it had held its first meeting on Sunday to discuss ways to tackle militants seeking to topple the US-backed Cairo government. It would work “in coordination with the relevant agencies and institutions of the formal state … to support the state and the armed forces in their war against terrorism,” the alliance said in a statement. It was not immediately clear why the tribes in Sinai had now decided to weigh in behind a central government that they have accused of marginalizing them in the past. Security sources say that in the past few weeks, the Sinai State (formerly known as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis), which supports ISIS, has executed prominent members of the tribes. [Reuters, DNE, 5/10/2015]

Judge survives assassination attempt in Helwan
Unidentified assailants on Sunday set off three improvised bombs near the home of an Egyptian judge who had sentenced Islamists to death and to long jail terms. The explosions outside the apartment of Judge Moataz Khafagi, who presided over the trial of Islamists during the past year and a half, damaged the building’s facade and smashed the windows of three cars, a prosecutor said. The judge, who was at his apartment in the southern Cairo suburb of Helwan, was not injured in the after-dawn blasts which wounded four people. A man was arrested as a suspect in the crime, who state-run media said was a pharmacist. Prosecutor-General Hisham Barakat ordered investigations into the incident. Khafaga was was due to acquit twenty-one members of hardcore fan group Ultras White Knights. [DNE, Ahram Online, 5/10/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Deaths in detention centres rise | DNE
  • Egyptian arrested in Algeria for recruiting IS fighters | Egypt Independent
  • Gaza truck driver hit by gunfire from Egypt | AFP
  • Seventy Sinai residents released from Azouli military prison | DNE
  • Woman injured, three suspected militants killed in separate Sinai incidents | Aswat Masriya
  • Army kills sixteen suspected Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis militants in North Sinai | Aswat Masriya
  • Two policemen killed in North Sinai | Aswat Masriya, DNE
  • One security watchman and three Brotherhood members killed in Damietta | Aswat Masriya, Egypt Independent, Ahram Online
  • 725 suspected militants killed in Egypt in six months | Aswat Masriya, Ahram Online


Egypt cooperation with Iran, Turkey ruled out, says FM
Egypt’s cooperation with Iran and Turkey is ruled out for Arab national security, said Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry Sunday in an annual conference at the Faculty of Economic and Political Studies in Cairo University. “A rapprochement with Iran amid what is going on in the Arab world is off the table, as that would mean there is a role for Iran in the Arab world, while we are working on Arab national security and territorial integrity,” Shoukry said. [Cairo Post, 5/10/2015]

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