Top News: Mubarak Retrial Verdict Postponed to November 29


Judge Mahmoud al-Rashidi delayed Saturday to November 29 an expected verdict in Hosni Mubarak’s retrial on charges of unlawfully killing protesters during the January 25 Revolution, citing that it needs more time to review all the evidence.


Proposed Egyptian law to reduce restrictions on building churches
Lawyer Nabil Luka Bibawi filed a lawsuit with the Administrative Court of the Egyptian State Council to compel the prime minister and the justice minister to form a committee comprising scholars from Al-Azhar and the Egyptian church to write the outline of a law regulating the construction of mosques and churches in Egypt. The lawsuit was referred to the State Commissioners Authority on September 1, to prepare a report about it and to hear the legal opinion of the commission, which did not decide on the lawsuit yet. The unified houses of worship law is still waiting the approval of a parliament that has yet to be elected.  [Al Monitor, 9/29/2014]

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Youth and sports minister appoints six youth deputies | Aswat Masriya
Minister vows to act after two-day water outages | Mada Masr


Mubarak retrial verdict postponed to November 29
Judge Mahmoud al-Rashidi delayed Saturday to November 29 an expected verdict in Hosni Mubarak’s retrial on charges of unlawfully killing protesters during the January 25 Revolution, citing that the court needs more time to review all the evidence. The court said the announced delay is due to the verdict reasoning having not yet been completed. However, lawyer Mahmoud Hassan, one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys, said that the verdict reasoning is usually issued a month or two after the verdict, arguing that this is not a valid reason to postpone the verdict. On Sunday, however, Rashidi cited his health conditions as being behind the decision to postpone the verdict. After the postponement was announced, clashes erupted Saturday between Mubarak’s supporters and opponents outside the Cairo Police Academy, where the retrial was being held. Police intervened to quell the clashes. The Muslim Brotherhood and its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) each issued statements following the decision. The FJP said the decision to postpone “proved that the judiciary is still an instrument of the military coup, and that all its actions and decisions are closer to military dictates than to judicial judgments.” A timeline of the Mubarak trial can be seen here. [DNE, Ahram Online, AP, Mada Masr, Aswat Masriya, 9/28/2014]

Minya retrial of Brotherhood mass death sentences adjourned
The retrial of 150 of Islamist defendants sentenced in April to death and life in jail in Upper Egypt’s Minya has been adjourned to the last week of January. During Monday’s session, the first of the retrial, the court also ordered the defendants’ to be detained, defense lawyer Khaled al-Koumy said. The 150 defendants sentenced in absentia were initially released by the court pending the retrial after they turned themselves in. [Ahram Online, 9/29/2014]

Also of Interest:
Court acquits 112 revolution anniversary detainees | DNE, Egypt Independent, Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, AFP
Morsi no show as espionage trial adjourned to October 14 | Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya
Mahienour al-Massry co-defendants’ retrial delayed until October 12 | Ahram Online
Eleven acquitted of violating Protest Law in Fayoum | DNE
Twelve students sentenced to four years in prison | DNE, Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya
Judge pauses illegal protest case until constitutional court rules on law | Ahram Online
Dissolution of Ultras White Knights referred to administrative court | DNE
Court sets December 29 to issue verdict in Nazif, Adly trial | Egypt Independent, Aswat Masriya
Adly in his own defense argument: I am innocent | Egypt Independent


Egypt to invest $14.5 billion in petrochemicals, refining over five years
Egypt plans to invest $14.5 billion in developing its refining and petrochemicals sectors over the next five years, its oil minister said, as part of efforts to overcome an energy crisis that has led to near-daily power cuts and hit company profits. It is also considering floating stakes in some state-owned oil companies on the Egyptian stock exchange. [Reuters, 9/29/2014]

Also of Interest:
UAE’s Dana Gas wins gas exploration deals in Egypt | Reuters
Suez Canal annual revenues rise twelve percent in August | Ahram Online, Reuters
Dubai’s Arabtec says plan for $40 billion Egypt housing scheme nearly completed | Reuters
Egypt’s balance of payments records $1.5 billion surplus in FY 2013/14 | Ahram Online
Egypt prosecutors to investigate excessive pay in public sector | Ahram Online
Egyptian pound steady on official market, weaker on black market | Reuters
France’s Total wins Egypt gas exploration license -source | Reuters
Egypt’s trade confidence hits all-time high: HSBC | Cairo Post
Egypt: PM – We are facing fierce war against unemployment | SIS


Sisi promises bigger role for youth in Cairo University speech
Speaking at a ceremony at Cairo University to honor twenty-seven top students from universities nationwide, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said 50 percent of “specialized councils” to be formed under the auspices of the presidency will belong to Egypt’s youth. Sisi also issued a presidential decree stating that all university students with outstanding performances during the last school year should be recognized, and promised to increase the number of scholarships for students overseas. Streets surrounding Cairo University were closed off on Sunday ahead Sisi’s visit, and the Republican Guard had secured the vicinity of Cairo University two days ahead of the speech. The Students Against the Coup movement (SAC) rejected Sisi’s visit, saying it gives a green light for an upcoming crackdown on students. The movement’s statement after the president’s speech said that only students who were known to be supporters of the current regime were selected to attend. [Ahram Online, SIS, DNE, 9/28/2014]

Academics, March 9 Movement condemn draft university law
Egypt’s university professors have sounded alarm bells over a draft law that they say will give university heads full sway to unfairly lay off faculty members. The Egyptian cabinet last week approved a new amendment to a statute regulating university employees, allowing university chairs to expel staff members in case of breaches without necessary legal disciplinary actions. The March 9 Movement in support of university independence also condemned the legal amendment. Critics say the changes – passed without review from faculty councils – jeopardize the independence of universities. If ratified, they say, decisions by college boards will be dependent upon the appointed heads for approval. [Ahram Online, Mada Masr, 9/28/2014]

Also of Interest:
Jailed Egyptian activist Douma still on hunger strike, says wife | Ahram Online, Mada Masr, Aswat Masriya
Two detained April 6 members join hunger strike campaign | Ahram Online


Egyptian police officer shot dead in north Cairo
A low ranking police officer affiliated with the Traffic General Management was shot dead by unknown assailants on Sunday in the North Cairo al-Salam City district, according to reports from Cairo’s security directorate. The officer, Emad Abdel-Aziz was shot three times while on his way to work at the city’s traffic authority on Sunday morning, the directorate reported. The assailants also stole Abdel-Aziz’s gun. Security forces are investigating the scene of the shooting. [Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, 9/28/2014]

Three arrested for possessing Al Jazeera documents
Police forces arrested three in the city of Beheira on Sunday on charges of possessing Al Jazeera documents and broadcasts, reported state media. The suspects, are allegedly members of the now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, according to state-run MENA. They are charged with inciting protests and violence as well as possessing banners and electronic devices that included anti-government slogans and Muslim Brotherhood logos. The Administrative Court has banned Al Jazeera’s Egypt affiliate, Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr, earlier this month for “promoting Muslim Brotherhood ideas” and being biased. [DNE, 9/28/2014]

Also of Interest:
Twenty-six militants killed in raids in Sinai, Nile Delta in one week | Ahram Online, DNE, Aswat Masriya
Source: Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis leader, seventeen extremists killed in North Sinai | Egypt Independent
Thirteen wanted persons arrested for Kerdasa violence | DNE
Bomb explodes beneath Minya al-Qamh main waterline | DNE
Kidnapped man found dead in Sinai – security source | Aswat Masriya
Two blasts take place simultaneously in Minya | Egypt Independent
Bomb defused on July 26 corridor | Egypt Independent
Seventy-six Egyptians arrested while illegally crossing into Libya | Egypt Independent
Five Brotherhood members arrested in Giza | Egypt Independent
Sixteen Ultras Ahlawy members arrested for protesting in Tahrir Square | Mada Masr, Ahram Online


Arab League, Egypt condemn Erdogan comments on Sisi
Egypt’s foreign ministry condemned statements made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the opening ceremony of the World Economic Forum in Istanbul on Sunday. In a strongly-worded statement released on Monday, the ministry accused Erdogan of providing terrorist organizations in the region with “political support, funding and/or shelter to spread chaos and harm the interests of the people in the region.” Secretary General of the Arab League Nabil al-Araby said that he views the recently elected president’s comments as “interference of internal Arab affairs.” [Ahram Online, DNE, Aswat Masriya, 9/29/2014}

Saudi Arabia, Montenegro, Ivory Coast to head Egypt’s human rights review
Saudi Arabia, Montenegro, and the Ivory Coast will be leading the review of Egypt’s human rights track record in the United Nations Human Rights Council’s upcoming Universal Periodic Review (UPR), set to take place on November 5. This is the second time Egypt is being reviewed. The first UPR for Egypt took place in February 2010. Saudi Arabia has indicated its support for Egypt on various occasions since the July 2013 ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi. Human rights lawyer and executive director of the Arab Network for Human Rights Information Gamal Eid commented on the selection of Saudi Arabia to review Egypt’s human rights record, stating that “this is not a surprise and is completely expected… Arab states are working under the reasoning of covering up for one another in their human rights records,” he said. [DNE, 9/27/2014]

Also of Interest:
Regional stability dependent on Egypt: UAE | DNE
Shoukry discusses Gaza plans in New York | DNE
Egypt’s Libya strategy running into snags, says official | Ahram Online
Shoukry meets with African representatives in New York | DNE
Egypt’s FM discusses Security Council seat with Irish, Portuguese counterparts | Ahram Online
Egyptian foreign minister discusses US and Middle East with New York Times | DNE
Brotherhood condemns UN reception of Sisi | DNE
Sixty-five Egyptian drivers still held in Libya | Egypt Independent