October 18, 2016 / 9:46 AM / a year ago

Beyond the Armada 75: Other Egyptian judges forced to retire

CAIRO (Reuters) - The judges who signed the Armada statement were not the only ones pushed out over the past three years.

In all, Reuters has identified 59 judges ruled to have broken one judicial rule or another and forced into early retirement. Some have been banned from leaving Egypt. Those who had worked as a judge for 20 years or more can still collect their pension. The rest have been given nothing.

In one case, in March 2015, 15 judges were found guilty of belonging to a political group called “Judges for Egypt” which a judicial disciplinary committee ruled was a judicial sleeper cell of the banned Muslim Brotherhood group.

Some of those judges concede they belonged to Judges for Egypt, but say the group had no connection to the Brotherhood. Others say they were never part of the group.

In a separate case, in 2014, eight judges were found guilty of announcing the 2012 election results before the electoral commission. The judges say the commission authorized them to call the result. Nashar said the judges never sought permission.

In both cases, the judges said they were targeted because of their political beliefs. The cases were not “for expressing political opinions,” said Ahmed al-Khatib, who lost his job. They were “for the type of political opinion being expressed.”

In various appeals, judges have pointed to a litany of legal errors and infractions. In the Judges for Egypt case, for instance, inquiry head Sherine Fahmy allowed evidence showing that an accused judge had a cousin who was a Muslim Brotherhood member. The judge in question says he has no cousins.

Fahmy told Reuters he would not comment on specific cases. “I have completed the investigation and passed it on to the relevant authorities and that is the end of the matter.”

Edited by Simon Robinson

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