Friday,22 February, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1400, (5 - 11 July 2018)
Friday,22 February, 2019
Issue 1400, (5 - 11 July 2018)

Ahram Weekly


Compiled by Mona El-Nahhas


Women take the legal lead

JUDGE Amany Badreddin Al-Rafei, the newly-appointed head of the Administrative Prosecution Authority (APA), assumed her new responsibilities on 1 July.

Al-Rafei, who took her oath of office before President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi at the Ittihadiya Presidential Palace late last week, succeeds former APA head Ferial Qotb, whose term of office ended on 28 June. Qotb was awarded the Order of the Republic of the first class, Presidential Spokesman Bassam Radi said in a statement.

Meeting with judge Al-Rafei following the swearing-in ceremony, President Al-Sisi expressed his appreciation of the key role played by Egyptian women in all areas of the state administration.

Al-Rafei graduated from the Faculty of Law at Alexandria University in 1971. She took an MA degree in public law in 1973 and started her career as a deputy prosecutor at the APA four year after graduation. She then worked in several APA offices in Alexandria. In 1994, she was chosen to work in the offices of the APA chairman, and in 2006, she took charge of various APA offices in Alexandria. In 2018, she was appointed to a leading position in the APA chairman’s office for appeals.

Al-Rafei, 69, is due to reach retirement age in February 2019. She will remain in office until 30 June 2019, as the law stipulates.

Al-Rafei is the fifth woman to head the APA since its foundation. Judge Hend Tantawi was appointed to the post in 1998 as the first ever chairwoman of the APA and the first woman to chair a judicial authority in Egypt. She remained in the post for two years until retirement. She was succeeded in 2000 by judge Laila Gaafar, who chaired the APA for one year. The third APA chairwoman was judge Rashida Fathallah, appointed in June 2017.

According to Article 197 of the constitution, the APA is an independent judicial authority assigned to investigate allegations of administrative or financial infringements committed by employees in different state institutions.

The APA is entitled as an administrative authority to order disciplinary penalties against those found to have committed violations. Its decrees can be appealed before the court concerned at the State Council. The APA also has the right to file suits before the State Council, and its members enjoy all the rights and have all the duties of judiciary members.

Court ruling delayed

THE CAIRO Criminal Court delayed on Saturday the issuing of a final ruling in the case known as the Rabaa sit-in dispersal until 28 July. 739 defendants, including top leaders of the banned Muslim Brotherhood group, are involved, and Mohamed Badie, supreme guide of the group, is among the defendants.

The court was due to issue its verdict on 30 June, the day marking the fifth anniversary of the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in the 30 June Revolution. However, for security reasons it was difficult to transfer the defendants to the court that day, and it decided to adjourn the session.

The session was held amid heavy security measures and a noticeable foreign media presence. Two of Morsi’s sons were present at the hearing in which one of their brothers is a defendant.

The case is related to events in August 2013 when police dispersed a sit-in staged in Cairo’s Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square by Morsi’s supporters following his ouster.

Photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid, known as Shawkan, was arrested while taking pictures of the sit-in. Shawkan is among the defendants in the present case and is accused of belonging to the banned group and of possessing firearms, charges which he denies.

The trial of the Rabaa defendants started early in 2016 and has taken more than 40 sessions. The defendants were referred to trial in August 2015 after the prosecution accused them of staging a gathering that intimidated people and threatened security and public order. The defendants also face charges of murder, sabotage, blocking roads, opposing the 30 June Revolution and attempting to topple the state governing system.

Two buildings demolished

TWO three-storey buildings collapsed on Monday in Cairo’s heavily populated Shubra neighbourhood. No deaths or injuries were reported, the Health Ministry said in a statement, but civil protection forces had spent a long period searching through the rubble for a missing person. The body has not been found.

According to Cairo Deputy Governor Mohamed Abdel-Tawab, digging to construct a new building near the two collapsed buildings was the reason for the collapse. Abdel-Tawab said the governorate would allocate alternative housing for the inhabitants of the collapsed buildings.

A third building has been temporarily evacuated until it is examined by a technical committee delegated by the prosecution authorities. Following the news of the collapse, a team from the prosecution authorities moved to the scene to investigate the collapse and determine its reasons.

Dismissal decree annulled

THE HIGHER Administrative Court issued a final ruling on Sunday annulling a previous Interior Ministry decree that had dismissed a police colonel from work for letting his beard grow in a violation of the instructions of the security services.

The court ordered that the dismissed policeman go back to work, while keeping his seniority rights. However, he was penalised with a 15-day deduction from his salary for violating instructions.

In its reasons for the ruling, the court said that although the dismissed policeman had not followed the rules of his job, the dismissal decree passed against him exceeded the action he had taken.

“There should have been some sort of balance between guilt and penalty,” the court said. Legal experts said the ruling was final and the Interior Ministry would now have to implement it.

Detention order renewed

THE SUPREME State Security Prosecution renewed on Monday the detention of journalist Moetaz Wadnan for another 15 days pending investigations. Wadnan faces charges of belonging to an illegal group and of spreading false news.

He was arrested on 16 February after conducting an interview with former head of the Central Auditing Authority Hisham Geneina, against whom a five-year jail term was passed last April for harming the image of the Armed Forces.

On Monday, Wadnan made an official complaint to the prosecution regarding the suspension of his visiting rights as well as his detention in the Aqrab Prison, a maximum security facility.

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