Egypt Independent

Legal debate over verdict declaring Hamas a terrorist organization



The ruling of the Court of Urgent Matters, deeming Hamas a terrorist organization, has raised a legal debate between legal scholars and experts.
 
According to Ali Yusuf, judge at the Criminal Court of Alexandria, the ruling was released by a non-competent court, after the issuance of the law on terrorist entities. "The court should have dismissed the lawsuit," he added. The court would have been considered competent before the issuance of the law on terrorist entities, said Yusuf, adding that Hamas can appeal the verdict.
 
President of the Cairo Criminal Court, Samy Zain Eddin said that the ruling would take effect only after the government issues a formal decision, delaring Hamas a terrorist organization. Otherwise, he said, the ruling has no effect. He pointed out that the prime minister had already issued a decision considering Hamas a terrorist organization, but if the government officially declared Hamas to be terrorist, it would have political and legal implications, and the courts would have the right to apply the Article 86 of the Penal Code in relation to Hamas members. The decision is not related to the judiciary; it is a sovereign decision, and the fact that the court took initiative and issued such a decision should encourage the government to do it, he stated.
 
Gamal al-Kaissouny, head of the Cairo Criminal Court, said: "The ruling has no effect on the state, and it has no power. The state has already confirmed its respect for the judiciary, and it avoids interfering in its affairs, and they are not obliged to implement the ruling in the end. Implementing the ruling depends on the relations between Egypt and Palestine, because Hamas is part of these relations," Kaissouny said, adding that "the Cabinet has to decide on the decision after studying its implications."
 
According to the Former Dean of the Faculty of Law at Cairo University, Mahmoud Kebaish, "It has been proven that Hamas contributed to the terrorist acts that took place in Egypt, and thus constitutes a terrorist entity."
 
However, according to the opinion of Mohamed Nour Farahat, a constitutional expert, the Court of Urgent Matters is not competent in political and administrative matters, pointing out that the ruling is legally useless, and it's only objective is attracting media attention. 
 
Abdallah al-Moghazy, a constitutional law professor and former parliamentarian said: "The ruling deals with the law on terrorist entities, and must be respected," pointing out that the top prosecutor collects such rulings to be presented to the Cairo Court of Appeals.
 
 
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm