Wednesday,12 December, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1421, (6 - 12 December 2018)
Wednesday,12 December, 2018
Issue 1421, (6 - 12 December 2018)

Ahram Weekly

Newsreel

Mubarak court no show

FORMER president Hosni Mubarak did not attend the Sunday criminal court hearing session where he was supposed to give his testimony in what has become known as the prisons break case.

The defence team of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, who is being retried alongside a number of Muslim Brotherhood members, had called Mubarak as a witness.

The court adjourned the hearing session until 26 December and recalled Mubarak to testify in accordance with the Law of Civil Procedures. The Sunday session, at which the two former presidents were due to meet for the first time in court, had been eagerly awaited.

Mubarak’s lawyer Farid Al-Deeb has argued his client is not a civilian but a member of the military and therefore cannot be summoned to testify before a court without prior approval of the Armed Forces.

The prisons break case dates from 2011 when the 25 January Revolution ended Mubarak’s 30-year rule. The defendants, who escaped from Wadi Al-Natroun prison on 29 January 2011, face charges of killing a number of police officers while escaping, and helping 20,000 other prisoners to flee after conspiring with the international Muslim Brotherhood, Hizbullah and Hamas, members of which stormed Egypt’s eastern border. In 2015 defendants in the case were handed death sentences or else life terms. The sentences were later annulled by the Court of Cassation and a re-trial ordered.

Morsi, Mubarak’s successor, has received sentences totalling 48 years in three other cases: incitement of violence against protesters in late 2012; spying for Qatar and insulting the judiciary.


Baseless accusations

A FIVE-month investigation conducted by a committee set up by the Ministry of Social Solidarity has cleared the 57357 Children’s Cancer Hospital of any financial malpractice. After examining thousands of documents and questioning staff, the 17-member committee found no evidence of financial irregularities.

In a statement issued on Monday the Ministry of Social Solidarity said all accusations of financial malpractice were baseless, and stressed its commitment to the independence of civil society organisations. The ministry did, however, say some minor administrative violations had been found and the hospital’s board of trustees has been issued with a deadline to fix them.

The investigation began after several MPs accused the hospital of mismanaging donations and of using funds to play the stock market. They also accused the non-profit hospital of squandering money on expensive advertising campaigns in order to attract donations. The committee also examined allegations that patients were removed from their rooms in order to shoot a television series and that the hospital ran unlicensed clinical trials on patients.

Fundraising to build the hospital began in 1998 and the hospital opened its doors in 2003. Its name, 57357, is the number of the bank account to which members of the public can donate.


Petition reviewed

A MILITARY misdemeanours court on Wednesday reviewed a petition filed by Hisham Geneina, former head of the Central Auditing Authority, appealing the five-year jail term he received in April after being found guilty of spreading false news.

Geneina’s family submitted the petition immediately after sentencing. It has now been accepted and the case will be returned to a first degree military court.

Geneina is currently being held in a military prison.

Interviewed in February by Huffpost Arabi journalist Moetaz Wadnan, Geneina claimed that detained former chief-of-staff Sami Anan was in possession of documents implicating the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces in the violence that erupted across Egypt following the 2011 uprising. Anan was detained following his announcement that he would stand in the March 2018 presidential polls, with Geneina on the same ticket as vice president. Anan denied Geneina’s claims.

Geneina was arrested in February after the Armed Forces accused him of attempting to undermine the reputation of the military. Wadnan was arrested in the same month. He remains in detention and is being investigated by the Supreme State Security Prosecution on charges of joining an illegal organisation and spreading false news.


Released on probation

ON MONDAY Giza Criminal Court rejected the State Security Prosecution’s appeal against the conditional release order granted to activist and blogger Wael Abbas, researcher Walid Al-Shobaki and documentary filmmaker Moemen Hassan.

The three defendants, detained as part of case 441/2018 in which a number of prominent lawyers, bloggers and journalists were arrested, faced charges of spreading false news and joining a terrorist group.

Under the terms of the conditional release the three men are required to present themselves at a police station for four hours twice a week until a final court ruling is issued.

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