Cairo court upholds 1 year sentence for Ahram journalist over 'spreading false news' against judge Zend

Ahram Online , Monday 25 Sep 2017

The court also fined the former executive editor of Ahram Arabic news website EGP 10,000 in the same case; both rulings can be appealed

File Photo: Former Justice Minister Ahmed El-Zend (Photo: Ahram)

A Cairo criminal court has upheld a one year jail sentence for Al-Ahram Arabic news website journalist Ahmed Amer on charges of "spreading false news" against former Justice Minister Ahmed El-Zend.

Monday's verdict comes roughly a year after the court sentenced Amer in absentia in July 2016.

El-Zend's lawyer refused reconciliation with Amer during today's court session.

The court also ruled that the former executive editor of the Ahram Arabic website, Hisham Younis, will be fined EGP 10,000.

The verdicts can stll be appealed.

The charges against both the journalist and the former editor in chief stem from a 2015 complaint filed by El-Zend following an investigative report  published by Ahram Arabic website on his financial decisions during his past tenure as head of the Judge's Club.

The report claimed that El-Zend approved the selling of club-owned at below market prices to a relative of his wife.

According to the court's reasoning on Monday, there was no kinship between the land-buyer and El-Zend and his wife, adding that the issue revolved around a name similarity.

El-Zend served as head of the Judges Club from 2009 until 2015, an unofficial but powerful institution, of which 90 percent of judges are members.

In May 2015, El-Zend was appointed justice minister. He was sacked after spending less than a year in office for making public statements that were interpreted as insulting to the Prophet Muhammad.

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