The Urgent Matters Court refused an appeal against a previous court decision that rejected the annulment of the Egyptian-Saudi maritime border agreement on Tiran and Sanafir islands in its final ruling session on Saturday. The agreement has been ruled valid until an Administrative Court issues its final verdict in the case.
The appeal was filed by lawyer Malek Adly, the initial lawyer in the case.
This came just two days following the cabinet’s approval of the agreement, after which it was sent to parliament for final approval. Adly previously commented that the cabinet’s decision is a violation given that the sovereignty of the islands is still being disputed in court.
Previously, lawyers opposing the government agreement pointed out that the Urgent Matters Court is not authorised to look into the case, arguing that lawsuits involving the government fall under the administrative judiciary’s authority.
Adly previously told Daily News Egypt that the Constitution grants the Urgent Matters Court the right to rule on such cases, but this was omitted from the constitutions of 2012 and 2014.
He also said that ruling on suspending the State Council’s decision in June to annul the agreement is a political move to transfer the sovereignty of the islands to Saudi Arabia. He also added that ”the state uses the Urgent Matters Court for political reasons and this is unconstitutional”.
There is another lawsuit regarding the validity of the agreement in the Administrative Court between the government and opposition lawyers, including Adly and Khaled Ali. This lawsuit’s final verdict will be issued on 16 January.
It’s expected that this final ruling might not fall in a way that suits the opposition’s interest, Adly said.
The case, known as the “Red Sea islands” case, has been the source of public controversy since April, after the Egyptian presidency announced the islands would return to the sovereignty of Saudi Arabia.