Rumors that NGO case judge was sent to criminal court are false, say officials

Court officials on Monday denied rumors that Judge Abdel Moez Ibrahim , the former head of the Cairo Court of Appeals who is accused of allowing employees from civil society organizations to leave the country while still under investgation for receiving illegal funds, hasbeen ordered to appear before the criminal court.
“I did not issue any such order,” said Justice Minister Ahmed Mekky, pointing out that investigations into judges are carried out privately by judicial bodies and not the ministry.
Mohamed Momtaz, head of the Supreme Council of the Judiciary, also denied that Ibrahim had been referred to court. 
“It looks like someone is trying to tarnish my reputation,” Ibrahim said of the issue.

Earlier in the day, sources from the Justice Ministry had told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the foreign funding case file would be sent to the public prosecution within days in order to prepare for Ibrahim’s trial.

Sources had also claimed that current head of the Cairo Court of Appeals, Samir Abul Maati, had decided to dissolve the court circuit that tried the defendants in what was known to the media as the “NGO funding case.” Justice Minister Ahmed Mekky was preparing to refer the four other judges from the case to disciplinary trial, as well, the sources alleged

In May, sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the Supreme Judicial Council ordered a criminal investigation of Ibrahim on charges of interfering in the work of certain judges and allowing foreigners who were being tried for receiving illegal funds for NGOs to leave the country before the trial was over.

According to earlier investigations, Ibrahim also interfered with the work of the court that oversaw the request to lift the defendants’ travel-ban, the sources added.

The Cairo Criminal Court will resume hearings in the NGO funding case on 9 September. Forty-three NGO workers face charges in the case. Nineteen US nationals, 14 Egyptians, five Serbians, two Germans and three citizens of other Arab countries are accused of receiving illegal funding from foreign organizations and governments and operating without permits.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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