Top News: Mubarak to Remain in Custody on Corruption Charges


Egyptian television announced that the South Cairo Criminal Court has released former president Hosni Mubarak pending retrial over charges of complicity in murdering protesters during the January 2011 uprising Monday. Mubarak will however remain in custody pending investigations over other corruption charges related to the misuse of funds allocated for the renovation of presidential palaces.


FJP leader criticizes Salafi Nour Party over sukuk draft law, Egypt clerics fire back
Sobhi Saleh, a leading Freedom and Justice Party figure, harshly criticized the Salafi Nour Party over its stance against a law that would allow the state to issue sukuk, or Islamic bonds. He called on the Nour Party to stop “analyzing and prohibiting matters for certain political gains,” after the party threatened to challenge the sukuk law before the Supreme Constitutional Court. But according to a panel of senior Muslim clerics whose objections are likely to hold up ratification of the legislation, the law that will allow Egypt’s Islamist-led state to issue Islamic bonds contravenes the sharia in numerous ways. [Egypt Independent, Reuters, 4/15/2013]

Govt auditing Doctors Syndicate for irregularities under Erian
The Central Auditing Organization has a 73-page report about alleged financial irregularities estimated at LE1.3 million during Freedom and Justice Party Vice President Essam al-Erian’s time as Doctors Syndicate treasurer, syndicate sources said. The sources said the organization would submit the report to the prosecutor general and hold a news conference to refute Muslim Brotherhood allegations that the Central Auditing Organization is still loyal to the Hosni Mubarak regime and that it strives to tarnish the Brotherhood’s image. The syndicate sources said the Brotherhood Guidance Bureau ordered that the conference be held to respond to the Central Auditing Organization report in order to improve Erian’s public image amid the accusations. [Egypt Independent, 4/14/2013]

FJP to meet with opposition, discuss Cabinet reshuffle
The Muslim Brotherhood and its political arm the Freedom and Justice Party are planning to meet with leaders from the Wasat Party, the Nour Party and the National Salvation Front to discuss a possible Cabinet reshuffle and the fate of Prosecutor General Talaat Abdallah. Helmy al-Gazzar, a leader in the FJP, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the party hopes to reach consensus in the meeting, and would consider the Nour Party and NSF’s proposals regarding the Cabinet and Abdallah’s dismissal. The FJP would consider the opposition’s demands if they found them to serve the best interests of the nation, added FJP chief Saad al-Katatny. [Egypt Independent, 4/12/2013]

Wafd Party sets conditions for participation in elections
The Wafd Party would neither run in the upcoming parliamentary elections nor participate in the planned national dialogue unless the regime responds to the opposition’s demands to replace Cabinet ministers and appoint a new prosecutor general, party President Al-Sayed al-Badawy said. Badawy, speaking with the ambassador from Slovakia, said the Supreme Judicial Council should choose the new prosecutor general. Controversy over the current prosecutor general has continued since the president in November used a constitutional declaration to replace former Prosecutor General Abdel Meguid Mahmoud — a move some said violated judicial independence. [Egypt Independent, 4/14/2013]

Also of Interest:
Morsi: I will not allow assaults on places of worship | Egypt Independent
Purging laws to prevent imprisonment of journalists, media men- minister | SIS
Shura members condemn UN declaration against violence towards women | DNE
Gameela Ismail irons out Constitution Party wrinkles before internal elections | Ahram Online
Free Egyptian Party demands end to attacks on students | Ahram Online
Sabbahi rejects Shafiq overture, military rule | Egypt Independent


Mubarak to remain in custody on corruption charges
Egyptian television announced that the South Cairo Criminal Court has released former president Hosni Mubarak pending retrial over charges of complicity in murdering protesters during the January 2011 uprising Monday. Mubarak will however remain in custody pending investigations over other corruption charges related to the misuse of funds allocated for the renovation of presidential palaces. The trial of Alaa and Gamal Mubarak will now be heard on 11 May. The retrial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak collapsed on Saturday when the presiding judge withdrew from the case on Saturday and referred it to another court, causing an indefinite adjournment that sparked anger in the courtroom. Shura Council members called for the return of former president Hosni Mubarak to Tora prison in Sunday plenary. [Egypt Independent, AP, Aswat Masriya, Reuters, Ahram Online, DNE, 4/15/2013]

Court to rule on election delay on 21 April
The Supreme Administrative Court will rule 21 April on challenges submitted by the State Lawsuits Authority against a previous ruling delaying House of Representatives elections. The Cairo Administrative Court had ruled that the election law governing the House of Representatives elections, originally slated to start on 22 April, must be sent to the Supreme Constitutional Court for review. Former MP Mohamed al-Omda and the State Lawsuit Authority, which represents President Mohamed Morsi, Shura Council Speaker Ahmed Fahmy and Justice Minister Ahmed Mekki, had filed an appeal against the ruling, which effectively delayed the elections indefinitely. [Egypt Independent, 4/14/2013]

Also of Interest:
Egypt to try Brotherhood members accused of torture | Reuters
Egyptian interior minister sued over failure to pay torture compensation | Ahram Online
Abdel Meguid demands application of court order restoring him as Prosecutor General | DNE
Military court sentences 12 people to prison in Suez | DNE


Egypt stalls on IMF terms, no deal seen – diplomats
Meetings between the International Monetary Fund delegation and Egyptian opposition leaders and civil society organizations have caused confusion and tension within the government, according to parliamentary and government sources. One source of tension is a request by the Cabinet to the Shura Council withdrawing the draft general budget for the fiscal year 2013-2014, pending new amendments to certain clauses. Sources, asking not to be named, said the request came within the past couple of days during meetings with the delegation, in which no increase to the US$4.8 billion loan has been requested. The Cabinet withdrew the budget after the IMF deemed planned energy subsidy cuts insufficient. Sources said that any more cuts may lead to higher costs for citizens. No deal is likely while an IMF team is in Cairo, diplomats said on Sunday. The IMF mission is set to leave on Tuesday after nearly two weeks of talks, and negotiations may continue on the sidelines of this week’s IMF ministerial meetings in Washington, they said. [Egypt Independent, Reuters, 4/15/2013]

Egypt sells $600 mln to import basic goods
Egypt’s central bank sold $600 million to banks in a special auction of foreign exchange on Sunday to pay for wheat, meat, cooking oil and other essential imports to a country struggling with a currency crisis. The size of the auction – 15 times the amount the central bank has been selling at its regular currency auctions – showed the extent of pent up demand for dollars as Egypt struggles with an economic crisis two years after the ousting of Hosni Mubarak. The central bank has been rationing dollars since late December in a system of regular foreign currency auctions brought in to cope with the impact of a run on the pound. The auction Sunday reduced price of dollars on the black market to LE7, officials said. [Reuters, AP, Egypt Independent, 4/15/2013]

Also of Interest:
Egypt lowers growth expectation to 2.5 pct in 2012-2013 | Aswat Masriya
Egypt’s power firm seeks $1 bln loan to fund power plants | Reuters
Shura approves amending income tax | SIS
Bank deposits safe, no taxes will be imposed –CBE chief | SIS
Tax authority: LE145 billion in revenue received in nine months | Egypt Independent
Customs source: Evasions stand at LE1 bln | Egypt Independent


Ain Shams University students attacked during protest
Clashes flared Sunday between students from Ain Shams University demanding enhanced security measures on campus and unknown attackers, according to satellite channel Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr. The protesters were marching from the Abbassiya district to the campus, demanding a private security company to protect the campus and students.Unknown assailants obstructed the student march, pelting it with rocks and glass. "We were in the march to protest against recurrent attacks by thugs when they attacked us," Mostafa Fouad of Ain Shams’ Student Union told Ahram Online. [Egypt Independent, Ahram Online, DNE, 4/15/2013]

More suspects arrested in Khusus clashes
Fifteen suspects were arrested in Khusus Saturday in connection with the deadline sectarian clashes that rocked the town last week, according to the Interior Ministry. In a statement on its Facebook page, the ministry said that the suspects were arrested while possessing firearms and other weapons and had been referred to prosecutors, who then decided to detain the suspects pending investigations. The arrests bring the total number arrested in connection to the clashes up to 30, the statement added. The Christian family accused of sparking the sectarian violence in Khusus surrendered to police Monday out of fear they would face assaults. Samir Iskander, his son Naguib and Nasim Farouk Awad were referred to the public prosecution for interrogation after they handed themselves in, according to security sources. [Egypt Independent, Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, 4/15/2013]

Also of Interest:
Anger in Sinai after ex-Brotherhood leader insults people of the region | DNE
Gunmen attack security checkpoint in South Sinai | Egypt Independent


Journalist considers legal action over ‘harassment’ from minister
A female Egyptian journalist said she is considering legal action against Information Minister Salah Abdel Maqsoud over his response to a question she asked at a news conference, which she considered harassment. The minister, known for his ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, received harsh criticism on social networking websites, while some demanded his dismissal after a video of the incident has been widely shared. During a press awards ceremony Saturday, Nada Mohamed, a journalist at Hoqook news website, asked the minister about freedom of expression. “Where is this freedom, while journalists are being killed and injured everywhere?” Mohamed asked. “Come and I’ll tell you where it is,” the minister answered with a smile. [Egypt Independent, DNE, 4/14/2013]

April 6 protest for release of members, Detention of April 6 activists extended
Three of the group’s members and one other protester have been detained following a demonstration against police violence outside the residence of Egypt’s interior minister in late March. They were arrested for chanting against the interior ministry and describing it as a "prostitute." In a Sunday statement, the group strongly condemned the prosecutor-general’s decision on 9 April to place the detainees in solitary confinement. They also decried the alleged rough treatment members receive in detention, which they are protesting by entering a hunger strike. A New Cairo Court judge, however, extended by 15 days the detention of three members of April 6 Youth Movement. Mohamed Mostafa, Zizo Abdo and Mamdouh Abu Adam face charges of resisting authorities, intentional damage of public and private property, and rioting. The three have denied these charges. [Ahram Online, DNE, Egypt Independent, 4/14/2013]

Also of Interest:
State TV workers reopen corniche after protesting salary cuts | Egypt Independent
Jihad Movement leader calls for applying Sharia | Egypt Independent


Amr: Egypt will respect peace treaty if Israel does
Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr has said that Egypt will respect the peace treaty with Israel so long as they also abide by it. “There are close and contractual relations among the countries. As I always say, Egypt is respectful country that respects its vows and what it agreed upon willingly. There is an agreement of peace between us and Israel. We will respect it, as long as Israel respects it,” Amr told the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper on Sunday. [AFP/Egypt Independent, 4/14/2013]

Morsi meets Brahimi, 50,000 Syrian refugees in Egypt
President Mohamed Morsi met with United Nations and Arab League Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi on Sunday to discuss the latest developments in the Syrian civil war. According to a press release from the presidency, Brahimi informed Morsi of the efforts being undertaken to achieve a peaceful solution to the war, which has left tens of thousands of people dead. Brahimi gave Morsi his assessment of the prospects for a peaceful solution and informed him of the current regional and international efforts to stop the bloodshed. He stressed the need for integration and coordination between the various initiatives in order for them to work towards a constructive solution. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said the number of registered Syrian refugees in Egypt hit 50,000. [DNE, SIS, 4/15/2013]

Also of Interest:
Egypt, US start talks on setting up free trade zone | SIS
Libya deposits $2 bln in Egypt cbank from investments | Reuters
Morsi to discuss Syria and economic ties with Putin | DNE

Photo:  AJstream

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