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Government Intimidates Judges
The Justice Ministry suspended its 60-million pounds subsidy to the judges’ Union. In addition, the Justice Minister Mahmud Abu el-Lail and his assistants began to bargain the union’s Board of Directors. In return
Tuesday, February 14,2006 00:00
by (Ikhwan web)

The Justice Ministry suspended its 60-million pounds subsidy to the judges’ Union. In addition, the Justice Minister Mahmud Abu el-Lail and his assistants began to bargain the union’s Board of Directors. In return for releasing the funds, the union must yield to supervision by the pro-government High Judiciary Council and justices must be subject to judiciary scrutiny. At the heels of suspending funds, some vital projects will come to a complete halt, union’s sources said. In fact, subsidies are drawn form the Health Care Fund and Court Buildings Fund so they do not affect the budget of the Justice Ministry.     

 

The sources added that the ministry stance is punitive upon the judges’ refusal of prolonging retirement age for judges, and their resistance of vote violations. The Minister’s undersecretaries requested the union to withdraw reports filled against the police officers who have attacked monitoring judges over the ballots.  

 

Following the ministry procedure, the union will not manage to pay salaries for its staff. Besides, the American-funded project “a computer for each judge” which Abu el-Lal announced last August will come to a halt. In addition, the venture of a sport and social club for judges will also be suffer the same outcome. In response, Alexandria Judges’ Union decided to stage a protesting stand and a strike on Friday February 17. These protests will extent to include the union’s nationwide affiliations.

 

Some judges called on the union’s Board of Directors to adopt stiffer attitude to protest the stances of both Justice Ministry and the High Judiciary Council. Members called for an extraordinary meeting of the Union’s General Assembly (GA) to discuss these latest developments. Previously, the GA refused the expansion of the retirement age and putting the union under the supervision of the High Judiciary Council.

 

The union chief Chancellor Zakarya Abdel Aziz has asked the president of the council to confer with the union before drafting the bill on the Judiciary Power, something that the council ignored. Meanwhile, several members of the council officials denied any knowledge of the draft law.

 

The council decision sparked suspicions among judges especially it came after halting the union bylaw sanctioned by its GA for six months and the council rejection to conduct probes into charges of ballot rigging.        


Posted in Reform Issues , Judges Activites  
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