Egypt head of Judges club lashes out against Parliament's criticism

Ahram Online, Thursday 7 Jun 2012

Following the Parliament's criticism to judiciary and prosecution in Mubarak's trial , head of Judges' club Judge El Zend lashes out against the parliament and its members

Ahmed El Zend
Ahmed El Zend , head of Judges Club (Photo:Reuters)

Judge Ahmed El Zend, the head of the Judges Club, unleashed a huge attack against parliament in a press conference held at the Club's headquarters in Cairo on Thursday afternoon, announcing that draft laws planned to be issued by parliament are actually going to bring down the Egyptian judiciary.

The press conference comes in the wake of serious criticism by parliament of the Cairo Criminal Court’s sentences in Mubarak’s trial, which acquitted the Mubaraks of corruption charges and Habib Adly’s former top aides in the ministry of interior from the murder of protesters Saturday.

“The Egyptian judiciary will not be threatened,” Judge Ahmed El Zend said, lashing out against those who, by criticising judiciary, he said, mislead the young into standing against the judiciary. “We did not want a parliament that attacks and insults the Egyptian people; is this how parliament gives back to judiciary?!”

The judge also denounced the new “judicial authority” draft law: “If we knew that the elections would bring to power such MPs, we would not have supervised the elections.” El Zend continued to slam parliament, insisting that the Judges’ Club will not abide by any law issued by the current parliament. He also called on the head of the Supreme Council of the Judiciary, Judge Hossam El Gheriany and Judge Adel Abdel Hamid to reject the draft law.

The head of the Judges Club also threatened to report the Egyptian parliament to the UN, the European parliament and the parliamentary assembly of the Mediterranean for what he feels is meddling in judiciary affairs – despite the clash between parliament and the judiciary comes at a very critical time, just one week before the presidential election runoffs between Ahmed Shafiq and Mohamed Morsi.

“We will not punish the people of Egypt; the runoffs will be under complete judicial supervision regardless of how offended we are,” El Zend announced, having stated that 4,000 judges do not want to supervise the presidential election runoffs as a result.

On 4 June 2012 the People’s Assembly changed its agenda to discuss the trial of Mubarak and Interior Ministry officials. MPs launched scathing attacks on the judiciary, accusing judges of caving in to pressure and interference from executive power.

MP Essam Sultan went so far as to accuse the interim government of hiding and destroying evidence related to Mubarak’s case.

For his part Dr Saad El Katanani, the speaker of the house, lashed out against El Zend and his statements on Thursday demanding an explanation from the Supreme Council of Judiciary and its head Hossam El Gheriany. In a press statements El Katanani said that rejecting laws issued by parliament is a violation of the legislative rights.

In a statement issued right after the press conference, for his part, presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq on the other hand announced his full support for the judges in their anger against parliament.

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