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Egypt: Opposition Al-Wafd editor to appeal jail sentence for slander

BBC Monitoring

Text of report by Muslim Brotherhood website Ikhwanonline on 25 September

The Al-Duqqi criminal court [in Cairo] has issued a sentence imprisoning for two years the editor-in-chief of the newspaper Al-Wafd, Ali Anwar al-Huwwari, and two journalists at the newspaper after indictment on charges of slandering and insulting the minister of justice.

The sentence was issued by Judge Sharif Isma'il, president of the First Instance criminal court at Al-Duqqi. He is the same judge who issued sentences imprisoning four editors-in-chief of Egyptian newspapers on 13 September.

In the first comment on the sentence, Al-Huwwari said that he could not comment on the sentences of the judiciary and that he is committed to the statement of the Higher Council of the Judiciary issued yesterday not to comment on the sentences of the judiciary. He asserted that he would comply with this and that he would pay the bail to stop the implementation of the sentence, which he will appeal.

Al-Huwwari added that the prison sentence is a gift to the Eg! yptian people and a "sign of love." He pointed out that the newspaper is fighting fierce battles against the regime for the sake of the rank and file.

Source: Ikhwanonline website, Cairo, in Arabic 25 Sep 07


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