Court orders release of Malek Adly pending investigations

South Banha Criminal Court has ordered the release of activist Malek Adly pending investigations into allegations that he incited protests against a maritime border agreement signed between Egypt and Saudi Arabia earlier this year.

Adly was arrested in May after protests in Cairo against the deal, which saw Egypt handing Saudi Arabia control of the Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir, sparking outrage among some Egyptians, who insisted that the islands are Egyptian.

Adly was charged with the following crimes: calling for and attempting to overthrow the state Constitution and its republican regime; joining an organization that aims to override the law and state institutions and harm national unity and public peace; inciting demonstrations and circulating rumors that threaten public peace.

The defense team submitted a request for Adly to be released from prison while investigations are conducted, and the request was approved by the court.

The prosecution is mulling its own challenge to the court's appeal, according to an anonymous judicial source.

In a recent court ruling, the Egypt-Saudi deal to transfer control of the islands was nullified. However, the government is mounting a legal challenge to the ruling, insisting that the islands have always been Saudi territory, although placed under the protection of Egypt for several decades.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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