CAIRO: The current crisis between lawyers, judges and prosecutors will persist for the time being until a resolution is been reached, lawyer Montasser El-Zayat told Daily News Egypt Monday.
“If the political leadership does not work on resolving the situation, it will lead to total [chaos],” El-Zayat, a former Lawyers’ Syndicate board member, added.
The crisis first erupted between lawyers and prosecutors when two lawyers were given prison sentences last week.
Lawyers Ehab Saei El-Din and Mustafa Fatouh were accused of assaulting Basem Abu El-Rous, the local prosecutor in Tanta city.
The two lawyers claimed they were insulted and attacked by the prosecutor first. But during a rushed one-day trial, they were sentenced to five years.
In response, thousands of lawyers held a full strike and sit-ins for several days nationwide, which further heighted the tension between lawyers on the one hand and prosecutors and judges on the other.
The outraged lawyers’ stance was supported by Syndicate Chairman Hamdy Khalifa.
“The crisis can only be resolved if the two are released and a fair trial is held,” El-Zayat said.
On Sunday, around 10,000 lawyers filed complaints before the attorney general against head of Egyptian Judges’ Club Ahmed El-Zend, club board member Ahmed Zahran and head of Tanta Judges’ Club Abdel Moneim El-Seheimy.
“El-Zend and his colleagues gave statements to the press and talk shows, defaming lawyers and their profession,” El-Zayat said.
El-Zayat claimed that El-Zend used the crisis for his personal benefit.
“He called for the Judges’ Club elections earlier than the set date, which exposed his intentions,” El-Zayat said.
The lawyers’ move came in response to similar complaints earlier filed by 800 judges against Khalifa, syndicate board member Ibrahim Elias and El-Zayat for slander and inciting riots inside courtrooms.
Meanwhile, People’s Assembly Speaker Fathi Sorour held a meeting with Khalifa and another with the head of the Judges Club to attempt reconciliation.
Khalifa told independent Al-Masry Al-Youm that he will resort to President Hosni Mubarak to interfere and solve the crisis if no resolution was reached soon.
El-Zayat accused the government of being “biased” to judges and lawyers.
“We have tolerated degradation for long. Prosecutors have all the privileges while lawyers keep waiting … outside their offices [begging for] their work to be handled,” El-Zayat noted.
“They act as if they are the masters and the lawyers are the salves. There should be a code for dealing with lawyers,” he added.