Egyptian Authorities Prevents Bastawisi from Attending War Criminal Trial
Egyptian Authorities Prevents Bastawisi from Attending War Criminal Trial
Sunday, February 10,2008 15:54
By Nadine Abduallah

The Supreme Judicial Council refused to allow Judge Hisham Bastawisi, the deputy chief justice of the Court of Cassation, to travel to take part as a member in a trial for those who committed war crimes during the Israeli aggression on Lebanon in July 2006.

The European Commission has sent an invitation to judge Bastawisi to attend its conference held on Feb, 9th, and to take part as a judge in the "International Citizens Court, an international body which was formed upon a popular initiative from citizens all over the world plus international human rights organizations to see the war crimes committed in the war on Lebanon. This international body will hold its first session this Feb, 22nd to try Israeli war criminals who committed war crimes in the war on Lebanon in 2006.

For its part, the Supreme Judicial Council didn"t show any reaction until it held its Feb, 4th session headed by Moqbel Shaker, the chief justice of the Court of Cassation, in which it refused to allow judge Hisham Bastawisi to travel to take part in the war crimes court held in the Belgian capital, Brussels .

The Supreme Judicial Council didn"t show any reasons for refusing Bastawisi"s request. This made Judge Bastawisi think, in statements to the Egyptian daily Al-Dustour, that the decision has been issued by an authority outside the Supreme Judicial Council.

For his part, Judge Mahmoud Al-Khudeiri lamented the Supreme Judicial Council"s decision of preventing Bastawisi from taking part in such an important event.

In statements to Ikhwanweb, Al-Khudeiri stated that any country seeks the honour of having a judge in this trial, in addition to the fact that Bastawisi is presumably the only Arab judge in this court. He raised his eyebrows and outright rejection to this decision of preventing Bastawisi from taking part in this trial without even showing any real reasons.

Al-Khudeiri saw that this decision is tied to Bastawisi in person because he is an honest judge who doesn"t deceive. If he went to Brussels , Al-Khudeiri said, Bastawisi will speak about the independence of justice and how far elections are fair in Egypt , issues which extremely alarm authorities in Egypt .

It is worth mentioning that this isn"t the first time in which Egyptian judges face travel bans. judges  Al-Khudeiri, Mahmoud Makki and Al-Ghunaimi faced similar travel bans.

These judges drafted laws for the Palestinian Authority and received invitation to go to Palestine to help people there in some laws. However, the Egyptian government prevented the judges from travelling while it allowed other judges who received no invitation.

Judge Bastawisi said in his statements to Al-Dustour newspaper that he may file an appeal against the decision of the Supreme Judicial Council, confirming that he- as a judge, doesn"t accept to deceive or lie.

They are seemingly giving a travel license only to those who can lie, deceive and claim that there is an independent justice and fair elections in Egypt . As foe those who travel and say the truth, they are denied travel, Bastawisi said.

http://www.ikhwanweb.net