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Secrecy around lifting travel ban 'unacceptable' to parliament, says Katatni

Egypt's parliamentary speaker on Sunday critiques way in which at least 13 foreign NGO workers facing trial were allowed to leave Egypt saying it damages the 'reputation of Egyptian judiciary'

Ahram Online, Sunday 4 Mar 2012
Katatni
Mohamed Saad al-Katatni (photo: Reuters)
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The secrecy surrounding the lifting of a travel ban of at least 13 foreign non-governmental organisation (NGO) workers facing trial for working in the Egypt without an appropriate license, is "unacceptable", said parliamentary speaker Mohamed Saad El-Katatni, Sunday morning. Instead, the case should have been open to the Egyptian public whose opinion should be taken into consideration, El-Katani added.

The comments were made before the Muslim Brotherhood politician left for Kuwait in order to head a parliamentary delegation that is set to participate in the 18th session of the Arab Parliamentary Union.

El-Katatni also stated that the way in which the foreign nationals left the country not only harms Egypt and its standing in the world but also will do damage to the reputation of the Egyptian judiciary.

He further added it is only a small number of the judiciary who got involved in the case, influencing the decision to lift the ban.   

"What is behind the judges' recusal from the case and why were the judges pressured to withdraw? And why hasn’t a single investigation been conducted into the issue?" El-Katatni asked during his opening speech at Saturday's joint parliamentary session. The first meeting of the lower and the upper houses was called by de facto leader Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi in order to discuss the formation of the constituent assembly.  

"Parliament is determined to use its different means to get to the truth of the matter and to investigate anyone who is accountable, regardless of their stature," El-Katatni stressed. Prime Minister Kamal El-Ganzouri is due to face parliament on 11 March together with a number of relevant Cabinet ministers to answer questions surrounding the ongoing NGO trial case.

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