The State Council Administrative Court decided on Sunday to look into a request submitted by lawyer Mohamed Adel Soliman that demands the stepping down of the judiciary panel of the Tiran and Sanafir islands case.
The court scheduled the session to be on 30 July.
The panel was supposed to look into the appeal filed earlier by the State Lawsuit Authority (SLA). The SLA had appealed the court’s earlier decision to maintain the Tiran and Sanafir islands under Egyptian maritime sovereignty in opposition to the demarcation deal with Saudi Arabia.
In his request, Soliman listed several reasons for his demand. The first reason was the statements made by the Minister of Parliamentary and Legal Affairs Magdy El-Agaty over the case, in which he wished the court would accept the appeal on the verdict and issue its decision soon. This was considered interference by the executive power in the judiciary.
The second reason was a reported meeting between major general Mamdouh Shaheen and the head of the state council last Tuesday.
Moreover, Soliman also referred to the presence of judge Abdel Fattah Abo Leil in the judicial panel as a concern as Abo Leil had granted Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud the honorary doctorate during his visit to Cairo in early April.
Soliman expressed his overall concern towards the panel for taking unusual, expedited measures in looking into the case and towards the appeal right after the verdict.
The SLA plans to appeal the State Council’s ruling in late June that cancelled the maritime demarcation agreement, which transferred sovereignty of the Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia in April.
The request and the case were referred to another panel, according to Khaled Ali, one of the defence lawyers in the case. However, the case will remain pending until the court announces its final decision towards the rebuttal request filed by Soliman.