Complaint against prominent judge Ahmed El-Zend referred to judicial council

El-Sayed Gamel El-Din, Thursday 6 Mar 2014

Ahmed El-Zend is accused by a group of judges of intervening in politics

Ahmed El Zend , head of Judges Club (Photo:Reuters)

Egypt’s prosecutor-general ordered on Thursday that a complaint by a group of judges directed at the head of the Judges Club, Ahmed El-Zend, be referred to the Supreme Judicial Council.

The 13 judges accused El-Zend of intervening in politics, which would constitute a violation of the law on judicial powers.  

El-Zend had demanded that military chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi form a “council of war” to deal with terrorists, acts of violence and vandalism allegedly committed by the Muslim Brotherhood.

The judges who filed the complaint said that these statements constituted a direct intervention in state policy-making..

The complaint also included some statements made by El-Zend on different media platforms about political issues in Egypt.

El-Zend was a key player in a conflict last year between the judiciary and Islamist parties over proposed changes to the judicial powers law. The amendments, which were not passed, would have seen the retirement age of judges reduced from 70 to 60, effectively forcing a quarter of Egypt's serving 13,000 judges into early retirement.

It wasn't El-Zend's first battle with Islamists. In December 2012, he announced that Egyptian judges would not be on hand to supervise a constitutional referendum for a charter drafted by an Islamist-dominated parliament under the rule of Mohamed Morsi.

In January of this year, a bomb was found outside El-Zend’s house.

The Judges Club is an unofficial, powerful body that represents over 90 percent of Egypt's judges.

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