Mekky was a safety valve for judges, says Justice Ministry spokesperson

Justice Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Sallam has said that had Justice Minister Ahmed Mekky resigned after the constitutional declaration in November, the retirement age for judges would not have been reduced.

Sallam told Al-Hayat satellite channel on Sunday that the presence of Mekky in the ministry was a safety valve for judges.

Assistant Justice Minister Hisham Raouf said Mekky’s resignation was not a reaction to Friday’s Brotherhood-supported demonstrations dubbed “Purging the judiciary.”

“Rather it was the statements of the previous Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Mahdi Akef, who said at least 3000 judges should be purged,” he said, adding that the issue concerns the whole nation and not just the judiciary.

“The Judicial Authority Law is a disaster, a massacre of judges and a violation of the Constitution,” he added, pointing out that Mekky had sworn to prevent a “massacre” of judges.

The Shura Council discussed the draft law on Sunday. The Judges Club requested that the law not be passed.

Cairo Court of Appeal President Ashraf Nada said that as justice minister, Mekky never stood with the judges, yet the Brotherhood still demanded his dismissal.

“He resigned when he was absolutely sure the Brotherhood turned against him for refusing to support the Judicial Authority Law and the reduction of the retirement age for judges it calls for,” he said.

In a phone-in with Al-Nahar satellite channel on Sunday, Nada also said judges filed a proposal to collect 10,000 signatures and complain to the international community about the law. A decision on whether to move forward with this idea will be made by the general assembly of the Judges Club on Wednesday.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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