Court Rulings: Mikki Acquitted, Bastawissi Reprimanded
|Friday, May 19,2006 00:00|
The disciplinary court trying reformist judges Hisham Bastawisi and Mahmud Mikki issued its verdict today. The court found judge Mahmud Mikki not guilty and was acquitted. Judge Hisham Bastawisi was reprimanded.
According to judiciary experts, the reprimand of judge Bastawisi will not directly affect his career but can compromise his chances of being promoted to higher posts. He can also be suspended or even removed from the bench if reprimanded a second time.
The court ruling and trial prodedure were targets of heavy criticism by many legal and judiciary analysts. Dr. Yehia al Gamal, one of the most prominent and senior constitutional experts expressed his dismay at the verdict against judge Bastawisi and questioned the validity of the ruling against him while acquitting judge Mikki when circumstances of the government charges against both of them are the same! Dr. Al Gamal added that both judges should of have been acquitted.
Mr. Hafez Abu Se’adah, General Secretary of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) said that the executive power in the governmen had hoped that the two judges will be removed from the bench to set an example for all pro-reform judges who dare to criticise the government, however, actual verdict came as a result of pressure exerted by pro-reform forces and the demostrations which erupted throughout the country in support of the two judges.
Judges: the battle for judiciary autonomy will not abate
In their heated meeting at the Judges’ Club after the verdict, hundreds of judges joined by a parade of politicans, legal experts, university professors and several members of parliament; vowed to continue their battle for the judiciary independence and stated they will not be intimidated by the verdict.
Police clash with protestors in Cairo