Hazem Abu-Ismail trial adjourned, verdict to be released shortly

Ahram Online, Wednesday 11 Apr 2012

Overcrowding sees proceedings adjourned in the Salafist presidential contender's case -- examining allegations that his mother was a US national; a verdict is expected shortly

Hazem Salah Abu Ismail
Egyptian Muslim cleric and candidate for the Egyptian presidency Hazem Salah Abu Ismail (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's State Council has adjourned trial proceedings for the case of Salafist presidential contender Hazem Abu-Ismail due to overcrowding in the hall. The verdict will be released shortly.

Hundreds of supporters of Abu-Ismail have been demonstrating outside the State Council since Wednesday morning, awaiting the court's verdict on Abu Ismail's lawsuit demanding the Ministry of Interior present proof that his mother holds dual US-Egyptian citizenship.

Egypt's interior and foreign ministries and the US State Department have stated that Abu-Ismail's mother acquired a US passport before she died. Abu-Ismail, however, denies these allegations and has demanded official evidence. If the allegation is proven, he would be excluded from the presidential race, as Egyptian law stipulates that the parents of any presidential candidate cannot hold a foreign passport.

The state attorney has stated that he could find no proof supporting the interior ministry's claims.

Abu-Ismail's supporters stood outside the court and chanted "Down, down with military rule; don’t be afraid to say the sheikh is not lying; lets start jihad if corruption exists."

Abu-Ismail is the son of late high-profile Islamist figure Salah Abu-Ismail, who was a prominent Al-Azhar scholar, a long-standing member of parliament and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Salafist contender announced his bid for the presidency in May 2011 and has been considered a frontrunner in the 2012 race. His bid, however, has faltered since reports circulated that his mother was a US national.

A final confirmed list of eligible presidential candidates is expected to be published by the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission on 26 April.  

Presidential elections will take place on 23 and 24 May, and the president will be named on 21 June after a runoff-voting round on 16 and 17 June.

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