CAIRO: The Cassation Court rejected Tuesday a challenge filed by Salafi leader Hazem Salah Abu Ismail in the case of lack of transparency when he applied to become a presidential candidate in 2012.
Abu Ismail, a hardliner who garnered massive support from Islamists after the January 25 Revolution in 2011, was sentenced to seven years in prison in April 2014 for concealing that his mother also held American citizenship. Egyptians with a parent who holds any other nationality than Egyptian may not run for presidency.
Mother’s nationality prevents high presidential prospects, temper leads to jail
The jailed preacher has stated that his deceased mother only had a green card, but the High Presidential Elections Committee denied his application amid substantial winning prospects. He had come forward with some 151,000 signatures to allow him to run for president, while only 30,000 are required. The Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi won the election with 52 percent of the vote against former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik.
The case only moved after Morsi was ousted in 2013. The sentence is the second to be finalized; in December 2014, the Cassation Court upheld a one-year prison term handed to Abu Ismail for insulting the judiciary. Abu Ismail’s hearings, especially at the beginning, often included heated altercations with judges.
Abu Ismail’s dedicated supporters
Abu Ismail is also standing trial for inciting his supporters, known as Hazemoun, to raid the prosecution’s headquarters in Nasr City in December 2012, as one of his supporters, Ahmed Arafa, was being investigated for possessing a rifle.
He was also sentenced for another year in prison for slander and libel, as he harshly criticized and threatened former Minister of Interior Ahmed Gamal el-Din and the police for being “selective.” The police had accused Hazemoun of attacking the headquarters of Wafd party.
A video of him circulated in December 2012 outside Dokki police station, labeling Gamal el-Din and the police as “traitors” and “scum,” yelling that he would “teach them a lesson” and “cleanse” the police. Abu Ismail claims the video is fabricated.
Gamal el-Din was fired Jan. 5, 2013, weeks after the police was accused by the regime of not protecting Ittihadeya presidential palace in December 2012 during deadly clashes between Morsi’s opponents and supporters.
In another show of his loyal supporters, dozens of Hazemoun organized a sit-in outside the media production city for weeks in late 2012 at Abu Ismail’s order, as Islamists perceived many of private media outlets as hostile.