CAIRO: Hazem Salah Abu Ismail was sentenced to one year of labor for contempt of court Saturday, while his trial for fraud was postponed to April 16.
Abu Ismail, a former presidential candidate in the 2012 election, is accused of falsifying documents to conceal that his mother held American nationality. Under Egyptian law, both parents of presidential candidates may hold only Egyptian nationality.
The court headed by Mohamed Sheren Fahmy assigned a new lawyer after lawyer Fatma Mohamed Ahmed stepped down from defending him from the court.
Fatma told Youm7 on Saturday that the “detained considers my attendance an act of aggression against him, that’s why I decided to step down.”
She added that Abu Ismail told her that this trial is a “conspiracy.”
The court has heard testimony from a prosecution witness that works at the Ministry of Interior, saying that the Egyptian government received a notice that Abu Ismail’s mother Nawal Abdel Aziz attained the American nationality in 2006.
The prosecution said that Abu Ismail, 52, committed fraud by submitting forged papers in March 2012, and concealed to the Supreme Electoral Commission in 2012 that his mother held American citizenship.
Cairo Criminal Court postponed Abu Ismail’s trial on April 5 to review the testimony of the prosecution witnesses and to review case documents.
During Saturday’s session, the judges removed the defendant for contempt of court, after he refused to allow his appointed lawyer to defend him.
Additionally reporting by Ameer Mustafa