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None can interfere in judiciary, Brotherhood defendants tried by law: Al-Zind - Daily News Egypt

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None can interfere in judiciary, Brotherhood defendants tried by law: Al-Zind

Justice Minister claims judiciary is not politicised, during panel discussion

Minister of Justice Ahmed El-Zind said that defendants of the former Muslim Brotherhood regime are being tried according to the law, during a Friday TV show on a state-run channel.

He also requested that anyone who has evidence to oppose this to present it.

Al-Zind was speaking as part of a panel discussion, which also included former Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa, and which discussed current judicial affairs and reviewed public sentiments towards it.

“Some judges are more tolerant with defendants and allow them several opportunities that the law does not allow,” Al-Zind said.

Al-Zind said, referring to lawyer Karim Hamdy, who was killed following acts of torture by policemen inside the Matariya police station, that he was “a [Muslim] Brotherhood cadre. The judges ruled against the policemen who tortured him.”

Hamdy, who was arrested at his house on 22 February, was charged with participating in protests affiliated with the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood, and was reportedly beaten by officers in the police station of Matariya.

“We refused to sign the preliminary medical report which claims the death was due to suicide and not torture,” Hamdy’s relative said. He was supposed to have had another investigation session in front of the prosecution.

According to Al-Zind, the General Prosecution does not prevent any Brotherhood defendant from family visits, food or letters.

However, at least 3,977 people were arrested during the first half of 2015 according to interior ministry reports on suspects of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood group. The defendants are either put in a prolonged pre-trial detention, or receive immediate verdicts, rights lawyers previously told Daily News Egypt.

When asked about foreign media comments on the politicisation of the judiciary and recent mass death sentences, Al-Zind said: “Believe me, no one can interfere in the judiciary, even if they tried.”

He added: “There are two former presidents behind bars, which means the judiciary has never been politicised by ruling in favour of heads of state.”

Al-Zind also commented on the difference between verdicts given in both trials for former presidents Mubarak and Morsi by saying that: “Every case has its own reasoning, and also judges have different mentalities.”

On 20 May, Al-Zind was sworn in as new Justice Minister, after his predecessor, Mahfouz Saber, resigned after making controversial elitist comments on judicial appointments.

“Since my appointment, my main concern is to resolve the prolonged procedures and duration of trials,” Al-Zind said during the panel.

On Tuesday, Al-Zind sent suggestions for new amendments on the penal code to the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) for review. The six amendments included shortening the duration of appeals reviews, cancelling appeals by the prosecution on death sentences, as well as cancelling appeals on verdicts issued in absentia.

Egypt has been witnessing an absence of a legislative power for nearly three years. Following the 30 June uprisings, a plethora of laws were ratified by the interim president, Adly Mansour, and some of them are widely believed to be unconstitutional.

In November 2013, Mansour issued the controversial Protest Law, which conflicts with Article 73 of the 2014 constitution that allows peaceful assemblies without prior security notification or monitoring. 


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