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Lawyers’ brawl

Rights lawyer Malek Adly accused of libel

Mustafa Sha’ban, a lawyer, filed a report with the prosecutor general on Wednesday accusing, Malek Adly, also a lawyer, of libel and defamation.

“Adly gave statements about me to Al-Mesreyoon online newspaper,” Sha’ban said, referring to a news story published on Tuesday, which quoted tweets critical of a case Sha’ba filed against popular society figure, Heba Al-Swedy. Al-Swedy is well known for treating patients injured during the January 2011 revolution at her own expense.

The paper quoted Adly saying; “we Egyptians aren’t only religious, but are also loyal, when a dog files a report against a great lady such as Al-Swedy, we celebrate and accuse her too.”

“I am not a dog, I’m a human being,” Sha’ban said, “What have I done? I’m just a citizen who saw a crime being committed and reported it.”

Sha’ban said the fact that Adly didn’t name him specifically as the “dog” referred to, will not exempt him from being tried for libel. He added, “as long as all circumstances point to the idea that I am the one referred to in this statement, he is guilty.”

Sha’ban has come under fire since filing the report against Al-Swedy, with several people criticising him, cursing him in a few instances, through social media.

Sha’ban also denounced the chairman of Al-Mesreyoon newspaper, Gamal Sultan, and its chief editor, Mahmoud Sultan, for publishing such libel against him.

“Since they helped circulate this libel, they are all implicated,” Sha’ban said. “I have seen a lot in these newspapers, which we may call gossip newspapers, yet never have I seen anybody publish something like this before.”

Adly denied giving statements to Al-Mesreyoon about Al-Swedy.

On Monday, Adly tweeted about Sha’ban and the tweet was quoted by Al-Mesreyoon, along with other criticisms of Sha’ban. The newspaper did not mention in the story that the opinions had been expressed via Twitter.

“I cannot be accused of libel for something I said on my personal Twitter account, which is considered my personal space,” Adly claimed, “I also did not give Al-Mesreyoon permission to publish this statement on my behalf.”

Sha’ban claimed that the fact that the comments were made via Twitter did not make a difference.

Adly is a prominent human rights lawyer concerned with advocating revolutionary causes such as the No Military Trials movement.

Sha’ban filed a report on Monday accusing Al-Swedy, as well as manager of New Al-Qasr Al-Eini Teaching Hospital, Amr Gad, and ex-head of the revolutionary patients’ fund, Hosny Saber, of profiteering. He claimed they took public money, which had been put aside for the treatment of patients injured during the revolution.

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