Two businessmen released
FOUNDER and CEO of Juhayna Food Industries Safwan Thabet and his son Seifeddin, the company’s deputy chairman, were released from prison on Saturday after two years in detention. Their release was welcomed by businessmen and rights advocates who viewed the step as encouraging the business community as well as Egyptian and foreign investors.
News of the release was first shared by Thabet’s daughter Mariam who regularly posted updates of their detention on social media. Photos posted on social media showed them embracing family members upon returning home.
Two days following the release, Juhayna denied introducing any changes in its board of directors.
Thabet was arrested and kept in pretrial detention in December 2020 over terror charges. Two months later, his son was also arrested on the same charges. The two were accused of belonging to and funding a terrorist organisation. They also faced charges of aiding in attacks on the army and police personnel as well as their institutions, and of harming the country’s economy. Thabet’s family denied the accusation on multiple occasions and pleaded for their release partly due to the illness of Safwan Thabet’s wife who died during their detention.
Juhayna is an Egyptian company founded in 1983, initially producing dairy products and juice. In 2004, the company was merged into Juhayna Food Industries after its acquisition of five industrial companies, including a company for sales and logistics and a company for managing agricultural and animal products.
Matrouh lawyers released
AN APPEALS court on Sunday ordered the release of six lawyers in Marsa Matrouh who received a two-year jail term last week for assaulting three clerks during a court session. Before the start of the session, a group of lawyers gathered in front of Matrouh courts complex to express support for their jailed colleagues. The lawyers were released pending a hearing set for 5 February.
The clerks recanted their accusations against the lawyers, saying the incident had not gone beyond a verbal altercation. Responding to the release order, the Bar Association suspended a planned strike it announced last Wednesday. In its call for the strike, the syndicate denounced what it described as “the rush to bring them to trial without taking the time to carry out a real investigation”.
Many lawyers supported the strike on social media, launching the hashtag “the dignity of lawyers is a red line” in Arabic. In response to the strike, the Judges Club said last week that its board was following up on the issue and would take the appropriate response in a timely manner. The club added that any violations or insults on social media against judges or court employees would be reported to the authorities.
Radar thief arrested
POLICE arrested a man who damaged a radar speed gun while attempting to steal it in Qalioubiya governorate, the Ministry of Interior said in a statement on Friday night.
The suspect, a man with a criminal record, attempted to steal a radar device installed on the Ring Road in Qalioub city, the ministry said. Images circulated in the media showed the damage to the radar.
According to media reports, the suspect damaged the equipment by breaking the radar apart to steal its components. The man confessed to the police and legal measures were taken, the ministry noted. Police identified the suspect by using modern security techniques, the statement added.
Egypt recently installed a large number of new cutting-edge speed radar guns and cameras on highways nationwide in order to curb road accidents.
In November 2021, parliament approved new amendments to Traffic Law 66/1973 to improve a smart transport system and apply stricter penalties for traffic violations. The new law punishes a number of traffic violations, including using devices that detect or affect the operation of radar or electronic stickers by a hefty fine or prison sentence.