Egypt court overturns decision placing football star Abou-Treika on terror list

Ahram Online , Wednesday 4 Jul 2018

Abou Treika
Egypt football prodigy Mohamed Abou-Treika (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's Court of Cassation, the country's top appeals court, has overturned an earlier court decision in January 2017 placing retired football star Mohamed Abou-Treika - among 1500 other individuals - on a terrorism list over alleged ties to now-banned Muslim Brotherhood group.

Abou-Treika, along with over 1,500 other individuals including senior Brotherhood leaders, was placed on the list in January 2017.

The appeals court on Wednesday accepted an appeal by the player and the other defendants, ordering a retrial before a lower criminal court.

However, Abou-Treika, who currently lives and works in Qatar, will remain on the terrorism list - with his assets frozen - under a separate criminal court decision made in April 2018 in a similar case.

"The decision today, unfortunately, will not change Abou-Treika's legal status," Abou-Treika's lawyer Mohamed Osman told Ahram Online.

The second designation, which involves 1,529 other defendants, means that the former player is banned from travel and placed on a watch list for five years.

The renowned athlete's lawyer said that he appealed against the April decision a few days ago before the Court of Cassation, adding that authorities have failed over the past years to provide evidence proving the accusations against his client.

Abou-Treika has denied supporting the Brotherhood, which the government designated a terrorist organisation in 2013.

In 2015, a government committee froze the assets of the former player, but the decision was overturned by a court order in June 2016.

Abou-Treika, 39, retired from football in 2013. He currently lives in Qatar, where he works as a sports analyst for beIN sports network.

The former Egypt and Ahly midfielder was dubbed the Magician and the Saint during his playing days.

He helped Ahly win over 25 national and African title from 2005 to 2013, and led the Pharaohs to three consecutive African Nations Cup titles in 2006, 2008.

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