CAIRO: The Supreme Administrative Court issued a judicial verdict on Saturday in favor of the Nile University over Zewail City in a land dispute between both institutions, several Egyptian media reported.
Disputes between Zewail City and Nile University, located in 6 October City, date back to 2011, when Nobel Prize laureate Ahmed Zewail chose the buildings and lands of Nile University to establish a new learning and research center called Zewail City for Science and Technology.
The media advisor of Zewail City Sherif Fouad was not surprised by the verdict. He said on Saturday that the Administrative Court has no jurisdiction over the matter, as the Cabinet itself had granted the land to Ahmed Zewail.
The Cabinet issued a verdict in 2011 allocating all the buildings of Nile University to Zewail City following the recommendation from a ministerial committee assigned by the Cabinet to settle the dispute between both institutions.
The committee reached a settlement allowing the university to use other buildings and labs in 6 October City for one year, and granted Zewail City the right to use the buildings that originally belonged to Nile University.
In an interview with Al-Hayah Channel, Fouad pointed on the practical complications of implementing the verdict, as the Zewail City students does not have another place to continue their study and research.
On the other hand, the head of Nile University Tariq Khalel said on Saturday that Fouad’s statement was “offensive to the judiciary” as the media advisor accused the court of being “biased.”
Khalil, in an interview with Al-Hayah Channel, added that negotiations between both institutions failed due to the stubbornness of Zewail City, forcing Nile University to court.
The Administrative Court had issued a verdict April 2013 stating that Nile University was the legitimate owner of buildings and lands that were allocated to Zewail City by the Cabinet in 2011.
Last January, the Supreme Administrative Court headed by Fayez Shoukri Hanen heard the complaints and appeal filed by Zewail City against this verdict. The trial was then adjourned to March 22.
In 2012, students of the Nile University organized a sit-in inside the university to pressure Nile University and Zewail City to resolve the issue, as they were forced to leave their original university buildings when Zewail City had taken ownership.