Islamist party accuses top judge of endorsing foreign interfence

Ahram Online , Tuesday 23 Apr 2013

Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya's Building and Development Party blasts head of Egypt's Judges Club for what it claims was his encouragement of foreign interference in Egypt's internal affairs

Hundreds of protesters demanding purging of judiciary in front of Egypt's high court, Friday (Photo: Mai Shaheen)

The legal advisor of Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya's Building and Development Party Adel Moawad presented a complaint to Prosecutor-General Talaat Abdullah on Tuesday, calling for the removal of the immunity of the Head of Egypt's Judges Club, Ahmed El-Zend.

As a judge, El-Zend has legal immunity. At a press conference on Monday, he spoke out against protests organised by the Muslim Brotherhood on Friday which called for a purging of the “corrupt” judiciary. El-Zend said he would present a legal complaint to the International Criminal Court (ICC) against the organisers of Friday’s protests as a “crime against humanity.” He also directed a message at President Barack Obama.

"I tell Obama, if you are not aware of what is happening in Egypt, this is a big crisis, and if you are aware, that is a bigger crisis because America should take responsibility and remove the burden experienced by the Egyptian people, especially its judges."

Moawad stated that El-Zend’s actions were an attempt to "encouraging foreign forces to interfere in Egypt's internal affairs."  

"At a time where Egypt has broken its shackles of dependency on the West…and removed the dictator Hosni Mubarak, following the 25 January revolution, we were surprised with El-Zend's comments in yesterday's press conference, where he directed his message to Obama," Moawad said.

The anti-judiciary protests and ensuing clashes, which took place on Friday, form the latest chapter in an ongoing tug-of-war between the presidency and the judiciary, which started in November 2012 when President Morsi controversially dismissed former prosecutor-general Abdel Meguid Mahmoud from his post and appointed Abdullah in his place.

A separate statement by the Youth Committee of Judges and Prosecutors on Tuesday called for an end to the current crisis between the judiciary and the presidency.

On Monday morning, President Morsi met with members of Egypt's Supreme Judicial Council and Abdullah to discuss the situation. 

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