26 people referred to Criminal Court for ‘insulting judiciary’

Prominent figures from across the political spectrum were brought together in one case when a decision was made on Sunday to refer 26 people to the Criminal Court on charges of insulting the judiciary, state-run Al-Ahram reported.

Ousted President Mohamed Morsi is implicated in the case, along with former Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mahdy Akef, Brotherhood leaders Mohamed al-Beltagy and Saad al-Katatny, and Jama’a al-Islamiya leader Assem Abdel Maged.

The list also includes former MPs Mostafa al-Naggar, Hamdy al-Fakhrany and Amr Hamzawy, and activist Alaa Abd El Fattah.

Prominent journalist Abdel Halim Qandil, as well as media personalities Abdel Rahman Yusuf al-Qaradawi and Tawfik Okasha, are also on the list.

While all 26 defendants face the same accusation, each was implicated in the case for comments they made in different instances.

Morsi is accused of insulting the judiciary in a speech he gave in his capacity as president last June, according to a report published by the independent Al-Shorouk newspaper. He is also accused of interfering in the prosecutors’ work.

A parliamentary session in June 2012 discussing the Cairo Criminal Court ruling in Hosni Mubarak’s case of killing protesters implicated several then-MPs in the case, including Katatny, Naggar, Beltagy, Fakharani, as well as Mahmoud al-Khodairy, Sobhy Saleh and Essam Sultan.  

The former MPs are accused of insulting the judiciary in remarks they made in the 2012 parliamentary session, according to Al-Shorouk.

Hamzawy, on the other hand, is implicated in the case for comments he made on his Twitter account criticizing a court ruling in the case of NGOs’ foreign funding, calling it “politicized.” 

A comment on his Twitter account on the same case also implicated Abd El Fattah, where he allegedly insulted the judges. 

Amir Salem, a lawyer also implicated in the same case for comments he made about the ruling in Mubarak’s case, told Mada Masr that he is surprised to hear about his referral to Criminal Court.

He said he is not sure whether the case has any political implications and did not know what its legal basis was.

“I am being referred to court for comments I made over two years ago in my capacity as a lawyer for the martyrs and injured of the revolution,” he said. “I don’t understand why this issue resurfaced and why my name is lumped together with Morsi and Assem Abdel Maged,” he said.

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