The Appeals Court rejected Tuesday the appeal presented by former presidential candidate Hazim Abu Ismail against a seven year prison sentence.
The prominent Salafi preacher was charged with forging official documents during his application to run in the 2012 presidential elections. At the time, the Election Law stipulated that both parents for any presidential candidate must hold only Egyptian nationality.
Abu Ismail had been accused of being deceptive about the nationality of his mother, who allegedly holds US citizenship.
Before being disqualified by the Elections Committee, the former leader of the Al-Rayah Party had widespread support from Islamist and Salafi individuals. Abu Ismail has been critical of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).
His supporters clashed with army forces in May 2012 in Abbaseya, leaving more than ten protesters and one conscript dead.
Abu Ismail is facing other charges, including libel and defamation of police officers at the time of his arrest on 5 June 2014, after a video clip circulated on the Internet featuring him saying that “the police need to be overhauled”. He also allegedly referred to them as “dogs” and “scum”. As a result he received a one year prison sentence.
In addition, Abu Ismail received a one year imprison term on charges of “insulting the judiciary” during one of the trial sessions.
Although he was an opponent of the Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi, he also vocally opposed Morsi’s forced ouster in July 2013.
The supporters of the radical Salafi preacher often blame the Muslim Brotherhood for “not taking a radical action against the army when they controlled the presidency”.
The legacy of Abu Ismail remains in the group Hazemon, which has been participating in weekly demonstrations to defy “security forces”. However, their activity has declined since the start of the year.
A number of Islamist politicians and activists have received harsh prison sentences since the ouster of Morsi.