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Court rejects Ayman Nour’s request for retrial

Veteran opposition figure hopes to overturn forgery conviction in order to run in next year's presidential election

Zeinab El Gundy, Sunday 16 Oct 2011
Ayman Nour
Ayman Nour, chairman of el-Ghad political party and presidential candidate (Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt’s Court of Appeals on Sunday rejected an appeal request by prominent opposition figure Ayman Nour aimed at overturning his conviction on forgery charges under the former regime of Hosni Mubarak.

Nour, a former presidential candidate, had hoped to prove his innocence of the charges to allow him to run in upcoming presidential polls slated for sometime next year.

In 2005, Nour was convicted of forging documents in order to establish his liberal El-Ghad Party, following a trial that was widely criticised both by Egypt’s political opposition and the international community. In 2009, Nour was released from prison for health reasons.

According to the law, Nour’s criminal record now prevents him from running in upcoming parliamentary or presidential elections.  

Last week, Nour said he was considering running in upcoming parliamentary polls, slated for November, after reportedly being asked by residents of Cairo’s Bab El-Shaariya area to run for their electoral district.

Nour was a member of parliament for Bab El-Shaariya from 1995 to 2005. In 2005, he ran in presidential elections against former president Hosni Mubarak, coming in second with 7 per cent of the vote, according to official figures.

Nour told Ahram Online that he had expected the court to reject his appeal request, citing a bias against him on the part of the judge. The same judge, he noted, was also a member of the political parties committee that had recently rejected a party application for the New El-Ghad Party.

Nour says he plans to again challenge the court ruling, which he described as “yet another setback for freedoms in Egypt.”

Nour and his supporters are expected to hold a press conference on Monday evening at the party’s downtown Cairo headquarters to discuss the court’s decision and his future plans for the party. 

On Sunday, veteran opposition figure and would-be presidential contender Hamdeen Sabahi announced his support for Nour’s appeal request.

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