CAIRO: The Cairo Criminal Court sentenced a top aide to ousted President Mohamed Morsi, to three years in jail after being convicted of “abuse of power,” Youm7 reported Wednesday.
Rifaa al-Tahtawy, 62, former chief of staff during Morsi’s tenure, was also ordered to pay a 36,000 EGP ($5,000) fine following his conviction of “appointing a lawyer, who was banned from public service, in the presidential office of the ombudsman,” according to the court ruling.
The lawyer was also sentenced to a year in jail and was fined an equal amount of money for accepting the appointment.
“Tahtawy is accused of violating the state rules by appointing the lawyer without running a background check on him,” Tahtawy’s lawyer told Youm7 adding that Tahtawy ignored an memorandum submitted to him that the lawyer “is ineligible for the post due to his earlier 15- year-jail sentence based on his conviction of joining a terrorist organization, vandalizing and possessing, manufacturing and using arms to attack citizens.”
Tahtawy is also awaiting trial where he, Morsi and more than 30 Muslim Brotherhood supporters are facing several charges including “espionage, disclosing top-secret information to foreign countries and funding terrorism,” according to Youm7
In December 2013 an Egyptian court ruled the Muslim Brotherhood group be listed as a terrorist organization. The ruling came six months after the military-backed ouster of Morsi following a mass protest against his regime.
On April 9, a misdemeanor court sentenced Morsi’s former minister for legal and parliamentarian affairs to three years in jail for fraud while a day later, the same court has sentenced the former Morsi-era governor of Nile Delta governorate of Sharqia to four years in jail for participating in an illegal and unauthorized protest; under the 2013 Protest Law, all political gatherings must first have approval from security forces.