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The wife of Ahmed al-Gizawy, a lawyer and activist imprisoned by Saudi Arabian authorities, said she is considering taking his case to an international court if the matter is not soon resolved.
“I’m concerned about my husband’s future,” Shahenda Fathy told Al-Masry Al-Youm on Thursday. “I need him to have a fair trial. But I have not decided yet.”
Gizawy was arrested last month after allegedly bringing into the Gulf kingdom 21,380 Xanax tablets, which are banned there except for use by psychiatric institutions and under close supervision.
Fathy criticized Ahmed Rashed, the Saudi lawyer defending her husband, for spending his time talking to the media rather than working on the case.
Gizawy asked that Rashed step down as his legal counsel, deciding to defend himself before the Saudi judiciary, she said, calling the attorney's statements that Gizawy admitted to the crime “mere lies.”
“He may have been under pressure to implicate my husband in the case,” Fathy said.
The Saudi government-run Al-Madinah newspaper reported Thursday that Rashed had officially withdrawn from the case.
The paper’s website said the Saudi lawyer signed his withdrawal document in the presence of representatives from an Egyptian consulate and Saudi's National Society for Human Rights.
The paper quoted the lawyer as saying Gizawy admitted to his crime before an Islamic court.
Egypt-Saudi relations have been shaken in the wake of Gizawy's detention. The kingdom summoned its ambassador to Egypt last month in response to protests in front of its embassy in Cairo.
The ambassador returned to Cairo on 5 May on the instructions of Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz after an Egyptian delegation had visited Saudi Arabia in an attempt to defuse the crisis.