Aswat Masriya (Cairo)

8 January 2013

Egypt: Judge Says Constitution Threatens Judiciary

Judge Tahany al-Gebaly said on Tuesday that the "document referred to as the constitution represents an unprecedented aggression on Egypt's judiciary."

Gebaly said in a press conference on Tuesday that the constitution violated legal customs in its removal of seven members of the High Constitutional Court (HCC) for revenge, insisting that the judiciary is independent and cannot be isolated.

She explained that the purpose of the conference is to document facts and announce her stance on what she believes is the lack of legitimacy of the constitution that was passed at the end of last year.

She added that she decided to challenge the controversial charter after she studied the outcome of the referendum and "became aware of a crisis."

Among those who attended the conference were legal experts Mohamed Noor Farahat, Hossam Eissa and Fouad Ryad, as part of a new front to defend the judiciary.

Three days ago, Gebaly filed legal challenges against President Mohamed Mursi, head of the HCC, Maher al-Beheri, Prime Minister Hisham Kandil, chairman of the Shura Council (upper house of parliament), Ahmed Fahmy and Hossam al-Gheriyani who headed the assembly that wrote the constitution.

The challenge included an appeal to withdraw legitimacy from the newly-drafted constitution, claiming that it did not receive enough support as required by law, and a challenge to her sacking from her post as HCC deputy.

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