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Ailing Ayman Nour faces five new charges
Published in Daily News Egypt on 19 - 12 - 2006

CAIRO: Jailed political activist and former leader of the Al-Ghad opposition party Ayman Nour underwent a cardiac catheter in Al Qasr El Eini Hospital yesterday, his lawyer told The Daily Star Egypt.
In addition to his deteriorating health, which was ground for his supporters to criticize the government for barring him from what they say are crucial medical tests in prison, the former parliamentarian is also facing a series of new charges brought against him.
On Sunday, Nour, who is also serving out a five-year sentence on a forgery conviction, attended a court hearing investigating allegations that he physically attacked a man.
On the same day, five legal complaints were filed against him.
Further information about the hearing wasn't available. When contacted over the phone, the General Attorney at the Prosecutor's Office of Central Cairo refused to provide details or comment on the new complaints.
Independent MP and editor of Al Osboa newspaper, Mostafa Bakri, filed three complaints accusing Nour of defamation, slander and religious contempt expressed in articles published in Al-Ghad Party's paper of the same name.
When contacted by The Daily Star Egypt staff, however, Bakri refused to comment and said that the case is now in the charge of the authorities.
"There is nothing more I can say in that regard, he said.
An unidentified lawyer also filed a legal complaint against Nour accusing him of religious contempt.
Nour also faces another legal complaint for owning an unlicensed gun.
Amir Salem, the legal consultant of Al Ghad political party and Nour s lawyer, told The Daily Star Egypt that Bakri's accusations stem from "direct collusion between alliance between Bakri and some big government elements.
Salem also said that Bakri had included Gamila Ismail, Nour s wife, in the complaint.
The charge of publishing anti- religious materials is meant to affect the image of Nour in front of the public and undermine his social and academic value, Salem said.
When asked about Salem's comments, Bakri declined comment.
In regards to the unlicensed handgun charge, Salem said, It is pure nonsense. It is really comic to accuse Nour with this accusation and I think that whoever passed this accusation suffers from mental dysfunction.
This gun has been seized by the authorities for two years and its license was not renewed in order to make a fuss around Nour and bring up the issue that he is a gun owner, Salem said, who also indicated that Nour bought this gun when he was a member in the Egyptian parliament.
By law every member in the Egyptian parliament has the right to purchase a gun, Salem said.
Salem stated that he has filed a request seeking Nour's release on medical grounds. The request came after a series of medical tests were performed on Nour which seemed to indicate that the former Al-Ghad leader may need to undergo heart surgery.
Doctors also urged that Nour undergo tests for diabetes and blood pressure regularly but that these have not been performed because Nour is not allowed outside his jail for medical checkups for longer than a day.
I think it is the least human right for a person to get treated from the diseases he is suffering from, Salem said, adding that Nour suffered from blood congestion in the eyes earlier in the week.
General Hamada Heneidy, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Interior, told The Daily Star Egypt that Nour s case is under the authority of the general prosecutor s office and the ministry of interior does not have any role in it.


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