Egypt court rejects challenge against constitution panel

March 04, 2013 - 1:22:38 am

Egyptians gather around a police vehicle burnt by protesters following clashes with policemen in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, yesterday.

CAIRO: Egypt’s constitutional court yesterday threw out complaints against an Islamist-dominated assembly that drafted the country’s divisive constitution, the official Mena news agency reported.

The complaints had challenged the method in which the members of the assembly had been chosen. The hastily prepared charter was passed in a referendum in December.

The complaints also said the panel, which was boycotted by liberals and Christians before it finished the charter, was not representative of all Egyptians.

The opposition argues that some clauses in the new charter bolstered Islamic law in the country of 83 million people which has a large Christian minority.

The court is still looking into yet more challenges against the assembly. Islamist President Mohammed Mursi had sparked months of unrest in Egypt when he adopted a decree in November granting himself extensive powers and immunising the assembly from annulment by the court.

He reversed his decree after the charter’s adoption in a referendum. 


Retrial of Mubarak, son on April 13

An Egyptian court set the date for a retrial of ousted leader Hosni Mubarak, his sons and top aides, ordering the politically fraught hearings over the killing of protesters to start just nine days before parliamentary elections next month.

Mubarak, who was toppled in a popular revolt in 2011, was jailed for life for ordering the killing of demonstrators, but was later granted a retrial by a Cairo court. The 84-year-old is now being treated in a military hospital.

His sons and other figures have also faced charges of corruption and squandering public funds, due to be reheard.

“Samir Abu el Maati, the head of the Appeals Court has set April 13 as the retrial date for former President Hosni Mubarak, his two sons Gamal and Alaa and his interior minister Habib el-Adly and six of his top aides ... on charges of killing of protesters during the January 25th revolution,” Mena state news agency said.

The retrial could raise tensions at a time of political and economic turmoil in Egypt, which has seen waves of street unrest throughout the two years since Mubarak stepped down. New Islamist President Mohammed Mursi accuses his supporters of fomenting some of the unrest.

The hearings are likely to overlap with the parliamentary vote, which begins on April 22 and will be held in four stages until late June. Agencies