A misdemeanor court set 24 November to start the trial of FJP deputy head Essam al-Erian on charges of slandering TV presenter Jihan Mansour after he accused her of receiving funds from other political forces to attack the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Cairo Appeals Court had referred al-Erian to a criminal trial at the misdemeanor court after the conclusion of investigations. Mansour filed the claim against Erian after he accused her on television of receiving funds from unamed political forces to attack the Brotherhood.
Mansour said the incident happened when she was covering the clashes that took place in Tahrir Square on Friday 12 October between members of the Brotherhood and anti-Brotherhood protestors.
She added she had a phone-in during her morning show on Dream Satellite channel on 14 October with a political activist who attacked the Brotherhood. She then called al-Erian to respond to the accusations, at which point he accused her of receiving funds in return for attacking the group. Mansour said the accusation was completely false and would damage her reputation among her colleagues.
The Public Prosecution on Thursday referred al-Erian, vice president of the Freedom and Justice Party, to criminal trial on charges of slandering Mansour.
Brotherhood lawyer Abdel Moneim Abdel Maqsoud said FJP leaders and some media professionals are working to resolve the dispute.
Abdel Maqsoud told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the situation is being blown out of proportion and that the matter would be resolved within days without Erian going to court.
Erian has filed a countersuit against Mansour, accusing her of slandering him during conferences held in the wake of the complaint Mansour filed against him. He requested LE10,000 in compensation.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm