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Court of Appeal Rescinds Saad Eddin Ibrahim''s Imprisonment Sentence
Published in Almasry Alyoum on 26 - 05 - 2009

Yesterday the Khalifa Appeal Court rescinded the two-year imprisonment sentence of Dr. Saad Eddin Ibrahim, director of the Ibn Khaldun Center, and his bail of LE 10,000, on charges of misrepresentation and tarnishing Egypt's reputation.
The court banned new lawyers from the case and ordered lawyer Hossam Selim, who filed the lawsuit, to bear the expenses. The court has also decided to accept the appeal submitted by Dr. Saad Eddin Ibrahim against his sentence by the court of first instance.
The ruling was issued by Justice Ashraf Hussein, president of the court.
Dr. Saad Eddin Ibrahim said he would come to Cairo as soon as possible because he has a strong desire to return to Egypt, as he misses it tremendously.
In a telephone call from the United States, Ibrahim said he will return to Cairo in two weeks when the academic year in America is over.  He currently has a contract as a visiting professor with Harvard University, thus meaning he will come in the summer vacation.  "I may go back to the United States once again for a year until the contract ends or I may stay if Harvard University does not object," he said.
 
He also said he still consults with his lawyers to ensure the safety of his return, as there are lawsuits still filed against him, adding that the above case was the main reason behind his stay abroad.  Ibrahim said, "I would have been sent to prison even before the Court of Appeal issues its ruling."
All the media and the satellite TV channels were present in the courtroom after the judge allowed it.
Ahmed Rizk, the brother of Dr. Saad Eddin Ibrahim, director of the Ibn Khaldoun Center, was pleased with the verdict because it is in conformity with the law. "I ask those who volunteer to file lawsuits against Dr. Saad Eddin to step back a bit, because in the end, the Egyptian judiciary will not accept such cases," pointing out that there are many lawsuits against Ibrahim in Egypt that carry the same charge, but from different plaintiffs.
He also said the most serious of these lawsuits is the one by Abul Naga Mehrez, the lawyer with the Court of Cassation, accusing Dr. Ibrahim of defaming Egypt.
He added that there are 10 lawsuits filed against his brother, in addition to two notifications by Nabil Luka Bibawi and Hossam Mustafa, the president of Al-Gomhouri Party, to investigate with Ibrahim on suspicion of spying and tarnishing the reputation of Egypt.
Defense leader Abdel Fattah Mustafa said he had expected the ruling because the plaintiffs have no capacity. He added that such lawsuits are usually the responsibility of the Attorney-General, as the law that allowed plaintiffs without capacity to file lawsuits was abolished in 1996 after Dr. Hamed Abu-Zeid's case.
He said there are 11 cases against Dr. Saad Eddin Ibrahim filed by well-known figures; the most prominent of which is Thoraya Lobna, the former president of the Social Syndicate, and Aboul Naga Mehrez, the lawyer with the Court of Cassation.
He said Ibrahim told him on the phone on Tuesday that he would return to Egypt if he is acquitted in Aboul Naga's case.
Throughout the trial, there have been clashes between the plaintiffs and Ibrahim's defense, accusing one another of treason.
Aboul Naga claimed that Ibrahim used his job as manager of the Ibn Khaldoun Center to topple the political situation within the country and that he asked the former U.S. President George W. Bush and his administration to use the aid they give to change such situation in Egypt under the allegation of political reform. He also said that he promoted sectarian strife.


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