Wednesday,13 December, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1130, 10 - 16 January 2013
Wednesday,13 December, 2017
Issue 1130, 10 - 16 January 2013

Ahram Weekly

Newsreel

Al-Ahram Weekly

Hosni acquitted

FORMER minister of culture Farouk Hosni was acquitted of illicit gains, Nevine El-Aref reports.

Early this week the Giza Criminal Court headed by Judge Mohamedi Konswa, acquitted Hosni of charges of illicit gains.

Last September, the Illicit Gains Authority (IGA) charged Hosni of obtaining LE9.813 million in illicit gains during his 23-year-long tenure alongside ousted president Hosni Mubarak. He was accused of using his government position to illegally accumulate wealth. The IGA also froze Hosni’s funds and properties, but the ruling was later reversed for lack of evidence.

Sami Abdel-Sadek, Hosni’s legal consultant said that the verdict was payment for Hosni’s political and cultural contributions. Sadek said the day of Hosni’s first trial on 7 November 2012 fell on the day when he was honoured as one of the most prominent cultural figures in the Arab world. Hosni preferred not to receive the award, saying his real prize was to prove his innocence in court.

“It is certain that Hosni, who had in his hands the budgets of both the Grand Egyptian Museum and funds provided from UNESCO for several heritage project, could not have earned money from illicit gains,” asserted Abdel-Sadek and that the court proved that the sources of Hosni’s income resulted from his creations and paintings.

Hosni thanked God for his acquittal and expressed his confidence in the Egyptian judicial system.

“Today’s verdict was a triumph for justice and I proved the legitimacy of my sources of income. I never profiteered during my time as culture minister,” Hosni said.

 

New Shafik party

EGYPT’s Parties Affairs Committee officially approved the founding of the National Movement Party, led by defeated presidential candidate Ahmed Shafik, on Monday.

The committee granted the party the right to exercise political activities provided that its decision to establish the party is published in two national newspapers within 10 days.

The party brings together a large number of prominent writers and thinkers including former head of the Press Syndicate Makram Mohamed Ahmed, journalist Lamis Gaber and legal expert Ibrahim Darwish as well as advertising mogul Tarek Nour.

National Movement Party leader Shafik, who lost to Mohamed Morsi in the June presidential poll with 48 per cent of the vote, faces charges of financial and administrative corruption under the rule of toppled tyrant Hosni Mubarak. His departure to the UAE came shortly after the results of the election were announced and has not returned home since.

Under Mubarak, Shafik served as civil aviation minister before being appointed by Mubarak as prime minister soon before Mubarak was ousted in February 2011.

 

Sinking boat

EFFORTS are still ongoing to retrieve a fishing boat that sank on Monday off Ras Al-Hekma Bay, about 85 kilometres east of Marsa Matrouh, due to bad weather conditions. It was reported that the boat had 10 sailors onboard.

Two inflatable boats were deployed to rescue the sailors.

Armed Forces spokesman Ahmed Mohamed Ali said Defence Minister Abdel-Fattah Al-Sissi ordered two helicopters, a C-130 aircraft and a warship from the Alexandria marine base to be deployed for search and rescue efforts.

The fishing boat, Zamzam, set sail at the beginning of the week. It sunk after high waves caused an engine breakdown. In an attempt to help the sailors navigate back to shore, local residents have also set tyres on fire on the beach.

 

Jewish alley on fire

A HUGE fire erupted in a building located in the Jewish alley in Ataba. Strong winds spread the flames to a large number of nearby shops in the same alley on Monday. The initial report said more than 15 clothes stores and fabric shops went up in flames.

There were no casualties, thanks in part to the holidays and the closure of most shops.

 

Honorary ceremony

THE 100 people who drew up the constitution held and event to honour themselves on Monday. The event was held at the army-owned Al-Masah hotel in Nasr City and was attended by Prime Minister Hisham Kandil, Shura Council head Ahmed Fahmi and former vice president Mahmoud Mekki.

Egypt’s Constituent Assembly will become a non-governmental organisation (NGO) concerned with raising awareness about constitutional matters, the assembly’s former leader Hossam Al-Ghiriani announced during the event. “Over the coming days we will witness a real renaissance and a better future for Egypt now the constitution has been passed,” said Al-Ghiriani.

The assembly was dissolved after it submitted the final draft of the constitution to President Mohamed Morsi on 1 December 2012. The constitution was approved by 63.8 per cent of voters in a public referendum.

Murder in Luxor

THE ELDERLY daughters of Tawfik Pasha Andrawes were found murdered inside their palace in Luxor on Monday. The funeral of Sophie, 82, and Lodi, 79, was on Tuesday after their bodies were brought from Luxor International Hospital to Virgin Mary Church in which prayers were recited in the presence of a number of Andrawes Pasha family members, political forces in the governorate and civil society leaders.

They were buried in the Andrawes tombs in the Karnak area in Luxor.

Preliminary investigations confirmed that nothing was stolen from the palace.

Tawfik Pasha Andrawes was a Wafdist and the deputy of the National Assembly at the time of Saad Zaghloul.

 

Diplomatic apology

CYPRUS submitted a written apology to Egyptian Ambassador Menha Bakhoum late last week after a fracas with police over security screening of her footwear at the island’s main airport, reports Doaa El-Bey.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs publicly and sincerely expresses its regret and apologises over the treatment of the ambassador,” Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou Markoullis said in a written statement.

The apology praised the “brotherly relations” that bind the two states. Treatment of the ambassador was not consistent with the ambassador’s individual rights or her diplomatic status, the minister said.

Bakhoum was involved in an argument with police when she was asked to undergo security checks to enter a departure terminal on 29 December where she was seeing off members of her family.

She agreed to undergo security screening but objected to removing her boots. In a heated debate that followed, she slapped a police officer because she was subject to verbal and physical humiliation by airport security despite her diplomatic immunity. Then she was manhandled by police and dragged into a separate room.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman Amr Rushdi said that the charge d’affaires at the Greek Cypriot embassy in Cairo was summoned last Tuesday to the ministry to provide an explanation for the incident.

Rushdi added that he requested an immediate investigation into the incident.

 

Journalist jailed

A CAIRO criminal court sentenced journalist Al-Walid Ismail to one year in prison on Monday, after attacking Egyptian security personnel during last year’s trial of ousted president Hosni Mubarak.

Ismail, a journalist for the independent daily Al-Tahrir was convicted in absentia for attacking and beating a police officer during the final session of the Mubarak trial, popularly known as Egypt’s “trial of the century”.

Ismail said neither he nor the newspaper nor Egypt’s Press Syndicate had been informed of the case until the final verdict was announced.

During the last session of the Mubarak trial, clashes erupted between security forces and reporters covering the event. Subsequently, Ismail filed a complaint at the New Cairo Police Station against several police officers allegedly involved in the violence. One of the officers, however, also filed a complaint against Ismail, alleging that the reporter had started the altercation.

 

Unsolved problem

THE HEAD of Nile University Tarek Khalil filed a lawsuit against Prime Minister Hisham Kandil, Minister of Higher Education Mustafa Saad and Nobel Prize winning scientist Ahmed Zewail, accusing them of interrupting the educational process in the university, reports Reem Leila. “This is a severe violation of the Administrative Court’s ruling,” Khalil said. “The Administrative Court ruled on 18 November 2012 that Nile University is entitled to use the disputed lands between Nile University and Zewail City for Science and Technology.”

Nile University students are not yet allowed to enter the university despite the court ruling. Khalil said the university has approached different authorities, including the Ministry of Higher Education. “Each time they turn us down under the claim there is nothing they can do, or it is not of their authority to enable us and students to enter the university,” said Khalil.

It was reported in the press that Nile University students who have been demonstrating since September 2012, blocked visitors’ exit on 3 January. “We wanted to be heard,” Nancy Mustafa, a Nile University student said. She stated that three central security cars were present to secure the area.

Zewail urged the professors of the Zewail Science City to withdraw complaints they filed against Nile University students accusing them of sabotage. Professors of Zewail Science City earlier released a statement accusing Nile University students of verbally assaulting the city scientists and their visitors and damaging a number of their cars.

Christmas celebrations at Sharm El-Sheikh

TOURISM Minister Hisham Zazou, joined hundreds of tourists celebrating Christmas day in the Heavenly Cathedral in Sharm El Sheikh on the seventh of January. The mass was attended by around 600 people, mostly from Russia, Ukraine, and some Copts who live in Sharm El Sheikh. Zazou was accompanied by South Sinai Governor Khaled Foda, and a press delegation. 

The cermon was read in Russian by Bishop Arcahni from the Russian Orthodox Church, with Bishops from the Egyptian Orthodox Church amongst the attendance. This is the second year in a row such celebration takes place, inviting a bishop from Russia, since the majority of the guests are mostly from this region.


The Heavenly Cathedral was inaugurated in 2008 by the late Pope Shenoda III the 117th Pope and Patriarch of the Church of Alexandria, and under the auspices of Father Apollo Bishop of South Sinai.  Work in the cathedral took six years which was constructed and ornamented by Egyptian architects and artists only.


On the night before the celebration, Zazou held a press conference for Egyptian investors and members of the press, where he discussed several problems facing the tourism industry in Egypt. The investors expressed their concerns regarding the new state possession law, that it might be a repelling force for foreign investors and tourists who want to buy property and reside in Egypt. During the conference Zazou also highlighted briefly his plan to revive tourism in 2013.

Compiled by Ahmed Morsy

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