The Ministry of Justice decided to transfer all levels of litigation in Al-Arish to Ismailia, and cease all trial sessions in Al-Arish court complex.
Additionally, the Supreme Judicial Council held an emergency meeting Sunday, in which they decided that all judges would be secured at all times.
The decision to move the court complex came following the attack launched in North Sinai, claiming the lives of three judges, a driver, and leaving a fourth judge severely injured, as they were heading to a North Sinai court. The attack was implemented hours after ousted former president Mohamed Morsi was handed a death sentence for breaking out of prison in 2011.
Mahmoud Al-Sherif, the candidate for the presidency of the Egyptian Judges’ Club told Daily News Egypt Sunday that the situation in the restive Sinai peninsula should be “put into consideration when analysing the [killing of the three judges Saturday]”.
He added that “terrorism” targets anyone in this country, whether security forces, policemen, armed forces, or most recently judges.
Al-Sherif said that there “might be a link” between the attack and Morsi’s death sentence. However, he added that “if it is true then there should be security reconsiderations made in this regard”, as the militant group was able to implement the attack with accuracy following the sentence.
The militants who launched the attack were purportedly killed hours after the attack, Al-Sherif said.
Reports circulated through Egyptian media outlets that about seven militants were killed after the attack. Daily News Egypt was unable to get confirmation from the concerned authorities.
Al-Sherif said that security measures “will be demanded” for the safety of judges.
According to North Sinai residents, a fourth judge was severely injured and reports circulated in North Sinai that he is close to death.
The presidency mourned the death of the judges in a statement released hours after the attack. It read that judges should remain strong in the face of such threats.
Security expert and head of Security Studies at Al–Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies General Mohamed Kadri said that since an incident targeting such high-profile individuals as judges took place, “it is expected that many incidents of the same kind will occur”.
Investigations into the matter will reveal the motives behind the attack and whether it was in retaliation for Morsi’s death sentence, he said.
Prosecution General Hisham Barakat ordered an immediate investigation into the case Saturday afternoon.
The restive Sinai Peninsula has been witnessing a persistant insurgency since the ouster of Morsi in July 2013. The main group operating in the area is currently known as “State of Sinai”, formerly Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis before pledging allegiance to “Islamic State” (IS).
Saturday’s attack took place on the Al-Arish-Rafah road. A police officer, Ayman Ibrahim Al-Desouky, was kidnapped on the same road in January and killed in a retaliatory operation against security personnel.
Furthermore, several civilians have been found decapitated near the road. The armed group has targeted civilians for allegedly being “army informants”.
Last December, the group posted a video featuring the militants stopping a car at a checkpoint on the Al-Arish-Rafah road.