CAIRO: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi praised judges and the judiciary system Saturday at the High Judiciary Court in downtown, saying that he “never intervened in the judicary,” and chooses to refrain from any intervention into its affairs.
“The courts of this building witness the high position of men of justice, and confirm that the judiciary is independent,” Sisi added, in a visit to mark Judiciary Day.
A recent presidential decree gives Sisi the power to deport foreign nationals who have been given a final sentence to their country or origin to serve the sentence or face trial. Since the June 23 sentencing of three Al Jazeera journalists to seven to 10 years in prison for publishing false news on the Qatari-owned network and aiding the Muslim Brotherhood that drew international condemnation, there have been calls by a number of organizations for their release through a presidential pardon. Sisi has routinely said he would not intervene in an ongoing legal proceeding.
On June 24, Sisi said in a speech at the Military Academy graduation ceremony Tuesday that he called Minister of Justice Mahfouz Saber and told him, “We will not intervene in the affairs of the judiciary because it is independent. If we earnestly seek a state of institutions, we must respect judicial rulings.”
Sisi has the constitutional right to pardon the defendants after a final verdict is issued; the case of Al Jazeera journalists is being appealed, and the retrial date has not yet been set.
The High Judiciary Court includes the Court of Cassation, Court of Appeal, and the General Prosecution.
“The constitution established the principles of separation of powers, and the independence and immunity of judges. The 2014 constitution promoted these principles, because it is an essential pillar of the Constitution and approach that was committed to by the President of the Republic,” Sisi said.