MP Ziad El-Eleimy (Photo:Ahram)
The parliament ethics committee questioning MP Ziad El-Eleimy, accused of insulting the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, has decided to continue interrogations on Monday. El-Eleimy just finished the questioning before the committee Saturday.
The ethics committee received the finding of the Arabic Language Academy for interpretation provided by El-Eleimy. The Academy found that El-Eleimy's statements characterising the head of Egypt's military council as a donkey should not, linguistically, be interpreted as an insult.
A lawyer himself, El-Eleimy further objected that a defamation case should only be filed by the person allegedly being defamed - not by a third party.
He added that he sees that the case he is currently facing in parliament is purely political and was made in response to his accusations against the ruling military council.
The MP's mid-February comments about Egypt’s ruling SCAF caused an outcry in parliament after he referenced a famous Egyptian proverb in which Tantawi was allegedly characterised as a donkey - a grave insult in Arabic culture.
El-Eleimy has staunchly defended his statements, stressing that his use of the proverb was simply meant to imply that the SCAF should be held accountable for its perceived mismanagement of Egypt's post-revolution political scene and for its failure to prevent the 1 February football violence in Port Said Stadium that left dozens dead.
Parliament had earlier requested El-Eleimy apologise for his statements. El-Eleimy did make a statement in response, but finding it not apologetic enough, the legislative body referred him to the ethics committee to decide on a penalty.