Prominent judge: Media ban on judges is non-negotiable

A long-standing ban preventing judges from speaking to the media is not up for discussion, said Mohamed Ezzat Agwa, president of the Alexandria Judges Club board of directors, on Sunday, referring to a ban issued by the Judicial Council.

Agwa, who is also head of the Criminal Court and the Supreme State Security Court, said judges must respect the ban in order to preserve the dignity and sanctity of the judiciary.

In a statement to Al-Masry Al-Youm, Agwa called on all judges wishing to engage in politics to resign from the judiciary and dedicate themselves to politics. He said there are several historical examples of Egyptian judges who ended careers in the judiciary in ordert to take up careers in politics.

Agwa went on to demand that the judiciary law be amended to give only the Supreme Judicial Council the authority to initiate disciplinary action against judges, rather than the Justice Minister or any Court President, as is currently the case.

He demanded that any judge summoned for investigation or questioning be allowed to choose a defense lawyer, pointing out that the transfer of the judicial inspection department to the Supreme Judicial Council and its independence from the Justice Ministry are essential to ensure the independence of judges.

In related news, on Saturday, the Supreme Judicial Council, which is the highest judicial affairs authority in Egypt, ordered the dismissal of the case of two judges who had been referred to the Complaints Authority at the Justice Ministry after a military court found their statements to a satellite channel an affront to the military judicial system.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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