The Cairo Criminal Court acquitted on Wednesday former Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mahdi Akef on the charge of insulting the judiciary.
Akef, currently in custody pending other charges, was referred to the criminal court last October by Judge Tharwat Hammad for “insulting the judiciary and defaming its men”.
Osama Al-Helw, among Akef’s defence team, said the defence will request the former supreme guide’s release from custody following his acquittal.
Akef was investigated because of an interview he gave to the Kuwaiti news service Al-Jarida in April 2013, in which he allegedly said: “Men of the judiciary are standing in the way of the president.”
Akef denied that he gave the interview to Al-Jarida, while his lawyer denied that he insulted the judiciary.
Al-Jarida, in turn, has provided an audio recording of the interview, available on YouTube, in which Akef can be heard saying: “The judiciary is corrupt…”
Akef served as Supreme Guide of the Brotherhood from 2004 to 2010. A member of the Brotherhood’s Guidance Bureau, 85 year-old Akef is currently facing the charge of killing protesters amid clashes in front of the group’s headquarters in Moqattam on 30 June and 1 July last year, alongside a group of other Brotherhood leaders. The trial’s next session is on 10 June.
Additional reporting by Hend Kortam