The final ruling issued, on Monday, to the execution of Egyptian political leaders and symbols, raised questions about the future implementation of this ruling, and the legal options available to those convicted in the case known in the media as the “Raba’a sit-in dispersal.”
The Court of Cassation, which is the highest judicial authority for appeals in Egypt, announced yesterday, Monday, its support for a preliminary ruling issued in September 2018 to the execution of 12 people, including leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, Muhammad al-Beltagy, Abdel Rahman al-Bar, Ahmed Aref and former Minister Osama Yassin.
Trials began in this case at the beginning of 2016 for hundreds of people, most of whom were arrested in 2013, and the prosecution charged them with charges ranging from premeditated murder, assembly and sabotage, but they denied their validity, knowing that the incident related to what happened on August 14, 2013 when army and police forces forcibly dispersed two sit-ins for supporters The late President Mohamed Morsi in the fields of Rabaa Al-Adawiya and Al-Nahda, refusing the army’s intervention to overthrow him after one year in power.
However, legal experts who spoke to Al Jazeera Net confirmed the existence of other legal paths, including submitting a petition to the Attorney General to reconsider the ruling, or that the families of those sentenced to death submit requests for presidential pardon.
According to the statements of a member of the defense committee for detainees in the Rabaa dispersal case, Muhammad Hashem, to Al-Jazeera Net, “We are now before a final ruling that has exhausted all methods of appeal against it, and it is enforceable, and there is no legal field to challenge it, and its implementation is suspended only by the presidential pardon.” .
Hashem indicated that the appeal has been reserved for judgment for more than 9 months, attributing the delay to the large number of papers contained in the case file, the large number of defendants, and the consequent large number of appeal papers submitted, which took all this time by the court.
He stressed that from a legal point of view, there is no problem at the time of the verdict, ruling out that the time of the verdict yesterday carried some political messages.
However, the member of the defense team expressed his surprise at the ruling, saying, “In my opinion, from my position in the defense team, it is an unexpected ruling. My legal point of view, including the presence of several defendants who have the same legal status, and their sentences differed, without personal or objective reasons for separating them in punishment.”
For his part, Counselor Mohamed Suleiman, former head of the Sohag Court of Appeal, confirmed that the Court of Cassation is the last degree of litigation, which makes it the ultimate end, and its rulings are irrevocable in any way. .
Counselor Abdel Sattar Imam, former head of the Cairo Criminal Court, agreed with him in the upcoming scene of death row, saying, “The issuance of a final ruling by the highest judicial authority represented by the Court of Cassation rejecting the defendant’s appeal, and upholding the death sentence, means that the ruling has become legally enforceable. “.
He added, in statements to local Egyptian websites, that the death sentence is not implemented until after the ratification of the President of the Republic, noting that the law gave the President of the Republic the right to pardon or commute the sentence, and the death sentence is executed if the pardon is not issued, or the punishment is replaced by the President within 14 days, According to Article 470 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
He explained that when the death sentence becomes final, the case papers must be submitted immediately from the Public Prosecution to the Minister of Justice and from him to the President of the Republic, and the ruling is implemented if the order for pardon or replacement of the penalty is not issued with the approval of the President, according to Article 155 of the Egyptian Constitution, which states that “the President of the Republic has After seeking the opinion of the Council of Ministers, pardon or commute the penalty, and a comprehensive pardon is only by a law that approves the approval of the majority of members of the House of Representatives.
In turn, the director of Al-Shehab Center for Human Rights, Khalaf Bayoumi, said that the ruling against 12 Egyptian leaders and political figures was not expected now, given that it includes a large number of defendants, and only about a month has passed since the execution of death sentences in the Kerdasa Police Station case.
But Bayoumi added, during his speech to Al-Jazeera Net, that “this does not mean that we expected verdicts of acquittal in this case, because the innocence in it represents a condemnation of all the bodies and authorities of the current regime and its characters, not to mention that everyone knows that this is the regime’s systematic policy towards its opponents.”
Bayoumi stressed that there is a great burden on the defense team during the next stage, which is the need to seek to use all means that could impede, delay or stop the implementation of these rulings, noting in this regard the possibility of submitting a petition for reconsideration to the Attorney General, or resorting to the court. Constitutional Court, claiming a dispute with implementation, given that the court that issued the ruling is an exceptional court and not the natural judge, or prompting the people to submit a request for pardon for the rulings.
“It’s all not easy, but not impossible,” he said.
According to the law, it requires a review by the Public Prosecutor of a case once new evidence appears that was not submitted to the trial court or the Court of Cassation, according to Article 448 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
The law also allows the person sentenced to death to submit a request to rescind the judgment issued by the Court of Cassation if it is in violation of the principles established by the Court of Cassation, and this is through a request to be submitted to the General Assembly of the Court of Cassation.
It is noteworthy that the Egyptian opposition accuses the authority of using the judiciary as a weapon in the face of the opposition, while the Egyptian government always affirms that it adheres to the fair trial guarantees stipulated in the constitution and international human rights law, and points to the existence of an impartial and independent judiciary.