Egypt court upholds suspending Administrative Court verdict over Tiran and Sanafir

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Saturday 31 Dec 2016

The urgent matters appeal court ruled today in favour of the government, ordering a stop to the execution of a June administrative Court ruling which concluded the two islands are Egyptian

File photo: The islands of Tiran (forefront) and Sanafir (further back) (Photo: AFP)

Cairo appeals court for urgent matters upheld on Saturday a September ruling by a lower urgent matters court to stop the execution of a June administrative court ruling which stipulated that two Red Sea islands belonged to Egypt.

In June, an Egyptian administrative court ruled that an 8 April Egyptian-Saudi border re-demarcation agreement that placed the two Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir in Saudi waters is void, adding that they should remain under Egyptian sovereignty.

Egypt's State Lawsuits Authority – the body representing the government in legal cases – later filed and won a lawsuit in front of a court for urgent matters to stop the administrative court’s verdict.

However, a number of lawyers appealed the court for urgent matters' decision and lost the appeal on Saturday.

The June verdict is being challenged before an administrative court, the High Administrative Court as well as Supreme Constitutional Court -- the country's highest court -- as the government, represented by the State Lawsuits Authority, appealed the court ruling.

Egypt's High Administrative Court has set 16 January to rule on the government’s appeal against a the June administrative court ruling that nullified the agreement over the two Red Sea islands.

Early in November, an administrative court rejected the government's appeal to suspend the execution of the June ruling and accepted the defence's request to compel the state to execute the June verdict.

On Thursday, the cabinet approved the re-demarcation deal and sent it to the parliament for voting.

The decision to transfer the two strategic islands at the southern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba to Saudi Arabia sparked widespread public outcry in the country.

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