- Human RightsMilitary TribunalPrisoners of Conscience
- December 26, 2007
- 4 minutes read
Ragaae Atiya: My Withdrawal A Message to Expose Illegality of MB Military Trial
Ragaae Atiya, the lawyer of detained Muslim Brotherhood (MB) deputy chairman Khairat Al Shater, declared his withdrawal from the defense team because the court refused his demand of sending back to the military prosecution the new charges added by the Military tribunal against 7 defendants to be investigated again.
It”s worth mentioning that the military tribunal modified the bill of indictment in the military case against 40 Muslim Brotherhood leaders. It dropped the charge of leading an outlawed organization against the defendants calling them only members of an outlawed organization. The court dropped also terrorism from the case but it added the charge of running the group”s moneys against seven defendants, including Khairat Al-Shater the Muslim Brotherhood deputy chairman and businessman Hassan Malek and five others living abroad .
He said while the court amended the charges in the session dated Dec, 16th through changing the description of a charge, dropping a charge or dropping terrorism, but it introduced new charges in contravention to the 10th article of the military law.
It added the charge- of providing what the bill called the Muslim Brotherhood Organization with financial aid through a financial committee outside the country- against five defendants living abroad although this incident has no presence in the original bill of indictment.
It also added the charge of running the group”s moneys and investing it for the group in companies owned by both Khairat Al-Shater and Hassan Malek although they know the purposes of the group. Atiya said also that these charges have no presence in the original bill of indictment as well.
Ragaae Atiya confirmed his withdrawal decision and stressed that he does not betray his profession as an attorney of law because it is a matter of reputation. He said also that his withdrawal came as a reaction to an illegal action which reveals that the trial is illegitimate.
Atiya pointed out that he withdrew when all doors of a fair trial have been closed, making the mission of the defense team impossible according to him.
He added that a veteran attorney of law, Mostafa Marie, did the same before when he withdrew from the defense of Ibrahim Basha Abdul Hadi, the previous Prime Minister of Egypt in front of the revolution court, saying then:” It”s better for the defendant to have no defence than having a ceremonial or disabled defense”.
Atiya saw that pursuing this ceremonial mission” gives legitimacy to an illegitimate body”.
He said also that considered the military justice incompetent to hear the lawsuit according to its main specialization in law and as prescribed in the constitutional that every citizen has the right to stand trial before his competent judge.
“I asked the court to deliberate and read the huge researches and papers which I submitted and which deserved to be read, but I was surprised that the court”s ruling was prepared in advance and was quickly read from a piece of paper. This actually confirmed to me that the court did not read any thing”.
For his part, Khairat Al-Shater described in a statement to Ikhwanweb Ragaae Atiya”s withdrawal as a logical result to the court”s violation to law through adding new charges to him and to Hassan Malek without any legal foundation. He added that the court”s repeated rejection to the defense requests is in line with its method of rejecting all defense requests since the trial began.
Al Shater pointed out that his defense”s attitude is right. He confirmed that it is a message to every one concerned that referring civilians to the military court offends the military justice and the military establishment in Egypt . Al Shatter said that he military establishment should be set aside from any settling of scores.
Stressing that all reformist political powers agree that they appreciate and respect the military establishment, Al Shater said that the military should be kept away from such matters violating law and constitution.