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Judges recuse themselves from case against El-Shater presidential bid

Presiding judges in case against Muslim Brotherhood's presidential candidate withdraw after being accused of bias against defendant

Wednesday 11 Apr 2012
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The presiding judges in a case filed against Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate Khairat El-Shaterrecused themselves on Wednesday after being accused by El-Shater's lawyers of harbouring bias against their client.

A Cairo Administrative Court was reviewing the lawsuit challenging the legality of El-Shater's presidential bid when the presiding judges announced their decision to withdraw from the case.

El-Shater, who was convicted of money laundering and "affiliation with a banned group" under the Mubarak regime, announced his presidential bid last week after receiving a formal pardon from Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, head of Egypt's ruling military council and de facto president of the country.

The lawsuit challenges the legality of the pardon, asserting that El-Shater – who spent three years in prison from 2007 to 2011 – should have submitted a formal request to a criminal court after receiving his pardon in order to participate in political life.

The Cairo Administrative Court is expected to assign new judges in coming days to review the case.

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