Top News: New Lawsuit Against Mubarak to Investigate Political Crimes

The Administrative Court of the State Council referred on Tuesday the lawsuit filed by Samir Sabry to the State Commissioner’s Authority, seeking a legal opinion. In the lawsuit, Sabry demanded that the President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi form a fact-finding committee to prepare a report on corruption crimes committed under former President Hosni Mubarak. 


Amendments to election laws complete
The cabinet’s drafting committee finished on Monday amending laws regulating parliamentary elections, Transitional Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ibrahim al-Heneidy said. Heneidy said at a press conference on Monday that the laws will be sent on Wednesday to the State Council, which will give its opinion, as well as the Supreme Constitutional Court. The committee made further amendments to the election laws.  According to the amended Parliamentary Elections Law, the new parliament will consist of 596 seats: 448 for independent candidates, 120 for party candidates elected through lists, and 28 appointed by the president. As per the Elections Constituency Division Law, there will be 203 constituencies: 43 constituencies with one seat, 93 constituencies represented by two seats, 49 constituencies with three seats and 18 constituencies represented by four seats, said Refaat Abul Qomsan, committee member and Assistant to the Prime Minister for election matters. Meanwhile, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced  that parliamentary elections will be held in the coming period but not during Ramadan, which is to start in mid-June. The comments were made during the celebration of Labor Day at the Police Academy. [Ahram Online, SIS, 4/27/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Sisi says country will take two years to “get back on its feet” | Ahram Online
  • Egypt’s cabinet adopts new rules on coal | Aswat Masriya
  • Egypt launches strategy to combat violence against women | Aswat Masriya
  • Salafi leader warns of uprising against police violations | Egypt Independent
  • Endowments Minister holds Muslim Brotherhood accountable for water poisoning | DNE
  • Socialist Popular Alliance party figure says government has “trapped” political parties | Egypt Independent


Morsi attends Qatar espionage trial session, in blue prison uniform
Egypt’s former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi attended a session in his trial for espionage, wearing for the first time the blue uniform assigned to convicts, days after he was handed a twenty-year sentence for inciting violence. Prosecutors will display evidence they claim proves Morsi and his ten co-defendants attempted to leak classified state documents to Qatar during his year in power. Meanwhile, a military court in Suez sentenced four people affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood to life in prison in absentia on Monday. The court sentenced four others who were present in the trial to fifteen years. They were convicted of terrorizing citizens, resisting authorities, disrupting traffic, damaging public and private property, and using violence. Charges brought against them include joining a banned organization and arms possession during clashes near the Suez governorate building last year. [Ahram Online, 4/28/2015]

New lawsuit against Mubarak to investigate political crimes
The Administrative Court of the State Council referred on Tuesday the lawsuit filed by Samir Sabry to the State Commissioner’s Authority, seeking a legal opinion. In the lawsuit, Sabry demanded that the President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi form a fact-finding committee to prepare a report on corruption crimes committed under former President Hosni Mubarak. In the lawsuit, Sabry said Mubarak ordered the sale of public sector and helped facilitate elections forgery, spread poverty, and create a “marriage of money and power.” [DNE, Egypt Independent, 4/28/2015]

Striking public employees to be sent to retirement, court rules
Egypt’s Supreme Administrative Court decided on Tuesday to send to retirement any public employee who strikes or holds a sit-in at a workplace, stalling public facilities. The court’s decision is based on the teachings of Islamic sharia, the court said in a statement, citing an Islamic rule which puts avoiding harm before pursuing benefits. In the details of its ruling, the court said that sit-ins are not similar to protests or assemblies, as they involve stalling work yet while employees hold on to their positions. The decision is final and cannot be challenged. [Aswat Masriya, 4/28/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Court postpones Al-Jazeera journalists’ retrial to May 9 |DNE, The Guardian
  • Abbasiyya Court hands minors prison sentences | DNE
  • Imprisoned Christian journalist to face blasphemy charges | DNE
  • Brotherhood leader’s wife given six months imprisonment in absentia | DNE
  • Administrative court bans non-specialists from issuing religious edicts | Ahram Online
  • Coptic Church challenges verdict obliging it to allow remarriage of Coptic citizen | Egypt Independent


Egyptian Central Bank Governor cites $40.2 billion decrease in external debt
The total external debt decreased to $40.2 billion at the end of February, compared to $50 billion last year, according to Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Governor Hisham Ramez. The new figure represents a rate of 12-13 percent of gross domestic product. On the sidelines of the Arab Banking Conference 2015, Financing for Development held Monday, Ramez said the ratio of external debt is in accordance with the global rate of 25 percent of GDP. Ramez added that the external debt will increase after the new deposits and he expected an increase of debt services coverage ratio. [DNE, 4/27/2015]

Also of Interest


Interior ministry shuts down three satellite channels accused of illegal broadcast
The interior ministry shuttered three satellite television channels on Monday, arresting their owner and chief administrator pending further investigations. In a statement released Monday afternoon, the ministry said that the channels Art Music, Art Films, and Galaxy Cinema were operating illegally, charging the administrators with illegally broadcasting over a French satellite station. More than fifty-six satellite channels have been shut down since the military-led ouster of Mohamed Morsi. Gramafoon Radio also announced that it would shut down its online stream due to financial and legal restrictions, the radio’s management said in a statement. The radio’s founder Ahmed Kamal said the closure is a temporary break until a committee tasked with drafting a law governing the formation of National Media Authority (NMA) completes its work. The NMA will replace Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU), which exclusively governs the rights of radio and television broadcasts. Article 16 of the draft law would limit the extent to which online radio stations can broadcast. [Mada Masr, Watan, 4/28/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Leftist parties denounce farmer arrests as ‘classist oppression’ | DNE, Egypt Independent
  • Harassment declines on streets, increases in schools, universities | Egypt Independent
  • Most harassment cases in Cairo and Beheira | Egypt Independent
  • Yousri Fouda says Egypt suffers from depression, media bias | Egypt Independent
  • Journalist astonished about suspending his show through a tweet | Egypt Independent
  • Disinfectants in water tanks caused Nile Delta mass poisoning | Ahram Online
  • Political activist says phosphate sunken shipment includes toxic materials | Egypt Independent
  • Giza Lawyers Syndicate accuses officer of assaulting member | Egypt Independent
  • NASA researcher says Egypt used amateur website to determine lost satellite location | Egypt Independent


North Sinai tribe retaliates against member’s death
A tribal source from al-Tarabeen in North Sinai confirmed Tuesday that the tribe has launched attacks on “State of Sinai” members, also known as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis. The attacks come in retaliation for the death of one of its members at the hands of the Sinai-based militant group. The source added that the person is said to have been “an army informant,” however he could not confirm this information. A resident in al-Arish said that, generally, all North Sinai tribes are cooperating with the army against Sinai militants, as most “State of Sinai” members are not from North Sinai. [DNE, 4/28/2015]

More areas of Sinai’s Rafah to be evacuated, says Prime Minister
Egypt’s Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab issued a decree on Monday ordering the isolation and evacuation of new areas in North Sinai’s Rafah city, thus expanding a current buffer zone implemented by Egyptian security forces on the border with Gaza. Mahlab’s decision on Monday included a promise that evacuees would receive alternative housing and reparations. The Prime Minister warned however that the state would confiscate the property of anyone who resisted the evacuation. North Sinai’s governor Abdel-Fattah Harhour said in a meeting in January that the evacuation may expand to the entire city of Rafah, adding that a new Rafah city would be created.
[Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, SIS, 4/27/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Two police officers, three conscripts injured in Beni Suef shooting | DNE
  • Military drone crashes in Sinai | Egypt Independent
  • Report shows violence rate in Egypt increases by 6 percent this week | Egypt Independent
  • Soldier injured in North Sinai roadside bombing | Egypt Independent
  • Security sources say nine militants killed in North Sinai raids | Egypt Independent
  • Police secure Ramses Square fearing return of vendors | DNE


Shoukry discusses nuclear non-proliferation with Iran’s Zarif and Kerry
Egypt’s foreign ministry said Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met on Monday with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif on the sidelines of a UN conference on the global anti-nuclear weapons treaty. In a statement, the ministry said Shoukry discussed Egyptian and Arab visions regarding nuclear non-proliferation, saying he insisted on the necessity of exerting efforts to make the Middle East free of nuclear weapons. He also met with US Secretary of State John Kerry on the sidelines of the conference to discuss a 1995 resolution to create a nuclear free Middle East.
[Ahram Online, SIS, Aswat Masriya, 4/28/2015]

Promising bilateral relations ahead, says US ambassador to Egypt
The US ambassador to Egypt expressed hope on Monday that future relations between Egypt and the United States would be “positive and promising.” Ambassador Stephen Beecroft said that any bilateral relationship has its ups and downs, adding that Egyptian-American relations cannot be assessed over weeks or months. On Sunday, a US education initiative was launched to offer over 1,900 scholarships in American universities to Egyptian students. Beecroft said that the initiative confirmed US commitment to Egypt’s future. [Ahram Online, 4/27/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Kidnapped Egyptian director killed in Libya says relative | Ahram Online, DNE
  • Sisi congratulates al-Bashir on landslide election victory | DNE
  • Sisi, Bahrain King discuss bilateral ties | SIS
  • Tunis backs Egypt’s bid for non-permanent UNSC seat | SIS
  • Egypt, Greece, Cyprus to hold summit Tuesday  | Egypt Independent
  • Egypt cancels Russian tourists’ visa fee exemption  | Egypt Independent, DNE
  • Shoukry meets Algerian, Irish counterparts in New York | SIS
  • Irish FM tells Shoukry of ‘disappointment’ on case of imprisoned national | DNE
  • As war rages at home, thousands from Yemen stranded in Egypt | AP
  • Egypt hosts conference to discuss regional looting, destruction of antiquities | Egypt Independent, SIS
  • Boutros-Ghali says Egypt should not disclose its involvement in Yemen | Egypt Independent
  • Hamas leader says Egyptian Intelligence promised to turn over new leaf with movement | Egypt Independent