File photo: Judges for Egypt during a previous press conference (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Sixty Egyptian judges were referred to a disciplinary board on Monday after investigations concluded that they support a political faction – namely the banned Muslim Brotherhood.
Judge Sherine Fahmy, delegated by the Cairo Appeals Court to investigate the issue, ruled to refer 60 judges to the board and called for them to be removed from office.
Investigations showed the 60 judges had signed a statement stipulating their support for the Brotherhood on 24 July 2013 during the Islamist sit-in at Rabaa Al-Adaweya.
Among them is Judge Mahmoud Mohey El-Din, who also faces fraud accusations for allegedly including the names of judges – other than the 60 – who did not sign the statement.
Other officials, who are not judges, were also suspected to be involved, according to the investigations, including ex-justice minister Ahmed Mekki and his brother, ex-vice president Mahmoud Mekki. Fahmy is expected to continue questioning them.
In December of 2013, following Islamist president Mohamed Morsi's ouster in July 2013, the government banned the group and declared it a terrorist organisation.
It has arrested hundreds of its members, including Morsi and top figures, and put them on trial mainly on charges of inciting violence, murder and espionage.
In May, 16 judges were suspended pending a probe on their affiliation to the Judges for Egypt group, accused of having links to the Brotherhood.
Investigations are still ongoing as the Judges Disciplinary Council accuses them of joining the Judges for Egypt movement and working in politics, a violation of Egypt's judicial law.
Judges for Egypt is a group of Egyptian reformist judges who helped monitor the 2012 elections and were the first to announce Morsi's victory, days before official results were released by the country's electoral committee.
After Morsi's ouster, the group boycotted a January constitutional referendum held by interim authorities as part of their transitional roadmap.