El-Shater's lawyer to challenge disqualification ruling Monday

Ahram Online, Sunday 15 Apr 2012

Lawyer for Muslim Brotherhood's Khairat El-Shater plans to appeal SPEC decision disqualifying his client from upcoming presidential contest

Abdel-Moneim Abdel-Maqsoud, lawyer for Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate Khairat El-Shater, stated on Sunday that he planned to file an appeal on Monday against the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission (SPEC)'s recent decision to disqualify his client.

Abdel-Maqsoud told Al-Ahram's Arabic-language news website that the SPEC had been "in a state of confusion" as to what case a recent pardon – allegedly granted to El-Shater – had applied to, since El-Shater had faced several previous criminal charges. According to the lawyer, however, a pardon should apply to all past criminal charges and not only one in particular.

Disqualified candidates have the right to lodge an appeal within 48 hours of the decision, and the SPEC should respond to those appeals within 24 hours, explained Abdel Maqsoud. El-Shater was disqualified based on the second charge in his 2007 case, that of belonging the "banned" Muslim Brotherhood.

Abdel-Maqsoud explained that, while the court had only "redeemed" El-Shater of the charge on 13 March, his client had received a full-fledged pardon on 12 February, which, he said, should be sufficient to allow him to contest the presidency. In case El-Shater was still ruled ineligible, Brotherhood member Mohamed Morsi would run in his stead, confirmed the lawyer. 

In 2006, El-Shater was accused of money laundering and of funding the then-banned Muslim Brotherhood. His case was referred to a military tribunal, which sentenced him in 2008 to seven years in prison. He was released four years later, after Mubarak's ouster early last year, for health reasons.

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