Ayman Nour may receive presidential pardon, says El-Ghad

Ayman Nour may receive presidential pardon, says El-Ghad

CAIRO: Ayman Nour, founder of El-Ghad Party and former presidential candidate, could be released from prison on a presidential pardon, due to be announced today.


                     


It’s customary for the president on national holidays (in this case the 23rd of July Revolution anniversary) to issue pardons for prisoners who have completed half their sentence.


 


Nour, who in 2005 was found guilty of forging powers of attorney required for establishing a political party, has completed half of his five-year sentence.


 


International and local human rights groups, however believe that the case against Nour was politically-motivated and was triggered by his success as runner up in the 2005 presidential elections. 


 


A source inside El-Ghad party told Daily News Egypt under condition of anonymity, that Nour has been negotiating his release with the government.


 


Montasser El-Zayyat, director of the Freedoms Committee at the Lawyers’ Syndicate, confirmed to Daily News Egypt his role in initiating the negotiations, saying the state wants to resolve the issue in a dignified way.


 


In exchange for his release, the El-Ghad source said, Nour would abide by certain red lines when talking to the media or writing articles, namely to stop attacking the president and his son Gamal.


 


Nour, the source adds, would, however, be given a bigger opportunity to talk to the media about general issues, like reform and democracy, without criticizing the presidency.


 


El-Zayyat refused to comment on these alleged conditions. He says both parties — the government and Nour — “want to solve the crisis in a way that is respectful of the government’s standing and of Nour’s dignity.”


 


During the negotiations, the government reportedly rejected a suggestion that Nour be allowed to leave Egypt with his family to live in Europe.


 


The sources said Gamila Ismail, Nour’s wife, was the one who had made the proposal.


 


But negotiations reportedly left a number of issues unresolved, but they included discussions of the ongoing dispute over the El-Ghad party’s leadership, with the state favoring Nagy El-Ghatrify over current president Ehab El-Khouly.


 


El-Ghad source said that El-Ghatrify is the best choice for both Nour and the regime. A diplomat by nature, he avoids confrontations and hence his presidency would facilitate future changes in the party, he added


 


Gamila Ismail said officials close to the presidential office have confirmed news that Nour would be among those pardoned on July 22.


 


It remains unclear whether Nour would get a general or a health-related pardon.


 


El-Zayyat explained that if he receives a general pardon, Nour will be able to resume his political work right away. But if it is a health-related pardon, he would not be allowed to be politically active except three years after his release.