INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Decision On Ayman Nour Health Parole Appeal Due In

Published: Tue 3 Jul 2007 12:52 PM
VZCZCXRO2288
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHKUK RUEHROV
DE RUEHEG #2036 1841252
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 031252Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5917
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE
UNCLAS CAIRO 002036
SIPDIS
SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
NSC FOR WATERS AND SINGH
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM KDEM EG
SUBJECT: DECISION ON AYMAN NOUR HEALTH PAROLE APPEAL DUE IN
THREE WEEKS
REF: A. CAIRO 1949
B. CAIRO 1931
C. CAIRO 1934
D. CAIRO 1625
1. (U) At a July 3 hearing at the State Council's
Administrative Court, presiding judge Mohamed al Husseini
ruled that he will issue "within three weeks" a final
decision on imprisoned Al Ghad Party leader Ayman Nour's
appeal for health parole. Husseini's ruling came after over
an hour of questioning of Nour's lawyers, before a sweaty
courtroom packed with journalists, Nour supporters, and State
Security personnel. Immediately prior to Nour's appeal, the
court heard the case of Ahmad Mazloum (a 22-year old
imprisoned drug dealer, also appealing for health parole,
whose case has been tied to Nour's in recent court
deliberations). Over the wailing of Mazloum's distraught
mother, who had to be dragged from the courtroom, Husseini
ruled that he would also would issue a final decision in
Mazloum's case within three weeks.
2. (SBU) Immediately after the hearing, poloff briefly
discussed the ruling with Gameela Ismail (Nour's wife), Amir
Salem (Nour's lawyer), and Ehab al Khouly (current head of Al
Ghad Party). All were disappointed by the delay, but
cautiously hopeful about Husseini's forthcoming decision.
Salem noted that "it seems the judge wants to take the time
to really think through the case, and draft a detailed and
considered opinion," but was also concerned that Husseini may
take longer than three weeks to issue a final ruling.
3. (SBU) The July 3 ruling comes on the heels of a July 2
State Council hearing in a separate but related lawsuit
concerning the appropriate court to rule on Nour's appeal for
health parole. On June 25, the Egyptian State Lawsuits
Authority filed a suit contesting the jurisdiction of the
Administrative Court over Nour's case, arguing instead that
the New Cairo Felonies Court is the appropriate body to rule
on Nour's appeal. The New Cairo Felonies Court is the
judicial body which on May 31 ruled against releasing Nour on
health grounds (ref D). It is presided over by Judge Adel
Abdel-Salam Goma'a, the judge who originally sentenced Nour
in 2005, and also presided over the first two trials of
democracy activist Saad Eddin Ibrahim in 2001 and 2002. At
the July 2 hearing concerning the proper jurisdiction for
Nour's appeal, the case was delayed until September 2. Even
if Husseini rules in Nour's favor at the State Council's
Administrative Court, the jurisdictional conflict will have
to be resolved. Our legal contacts are split over which
court should appropriately decide Nour's fate.
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