President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi issued a decree to force former head of the Judges Club Zakaria Abdel Aziz into retirement, according to state-run Al-Ahram. The decree No. 255 was published in the state’s official magazine on Sunday.
The president’s decision came after recommendations from the Supreme Judicial Council’s Disciplinary Board which came to a final decision in April to force the prominent reformist judge Abdel Aziz into retirement for his involvement in storming a state security office in 2011.
Abdel Aziz faced accusations of inciting protestors to storm the State Security headquarters in Nasr City in March 2011.
The board rejected an appeal filed by Abdel Aziz after a first-degree disciplinary board ordered him into retirement in March of this year.
Recently, the Cairo Appeals Court supported the Disciplinary Board’s decision to force the judge into retirement over charges of engaging in political work and storming the state security building where he looted important official documents.
Following the verdict, Abdel Aziz made press statements asserting that it was not a fair trial as the judge refused to listen to the defence team or to CD evidence that refutes his participation in storming the building.
Several judges have been referred to investigation over charges of engaging in political work or expressing views regarding ongoing issues in the political scene. Sources from the Ministry of Justice told Daily News Egypt earlier that an electronic surveillance committee was formed to monitor judges’ views on social media outlets and made periodic reports about this.
According to the Supreme Judicial Council’s regulations, judges cannot express their views on political matters as this is considered a violation of ethics. Any such violation would see a judge referred to investigation.
On 14 March 2015, the Disciplinary Board made a decision to force 41 judges into compulsory retirement after these judges issued a statement, dating back 6 July 2013, expressing their stance on the 30 June uprising and its aftermath.
Earlier this year, the council’s Disciplinary Board issued a decision that forced 15 judges into retirement over charges of having ties with the now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.
Ten of the judges, who were accused of forming and belonging to the Judges for Egypt movement that supported former president Mohamed Morsi and the Brotherhood government, were initially forced to retire in March while five others were acquitted.
In May of this year, 12 judges were referred to judicial investigations at the Ministry of Justice for expressing political views about the recent maritime demarcation deal with Saudi Arabia on their Facebook accounts.