CAIRO: Judges’ Club President Ahmed Al-Zend was sworn in Wednesday before President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi as Minister of Justice to replace former Minister Mahfouz Saber, who resigned after his “discriminatory remarks,” according to a statement from presidential spokesperson Alaa Youssef Wednesday.
The oath was attended by Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, Youssef added.
According to the executive regulations of the club, Vice-President Abdullah Fathy will be charged with Zend’s duties until a new president is elected.
Zend was born in Tanta city of Delta Gharbia, 90 km north of Cairo, in 1946; he graduated from the Faculty of Sharia and Law at Al-Azhar University in 1970.
During his secondment in the United Arab Emirates in 1991-1996, Zend was the presiding judge of the UAE’s Sharia Court of Ras al-Khaimah from 1991-1993; then he was appointed a legal advisor to the crown prince of Ras al-Khaimah in the following three years.
The members of the Judges’ club witnessed a division among its members following the 2005 presidential elections; a group of judges, called the Independent Current, claimed that elections were forged, while the other side, to which Zend belonged, defended the elections and former President Hosni Mubarak’s fifth term.
Zend was elected as the president of the Judges Club in 2009 and in 2012 was reelected for another four-year term.
He is known for his reservations about the Pro-Muslim brotherhood judges; following the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, Zend expelled more than a hundred judges from the Judges Club for “belonging to the Brotherhood,” Moheet newspaper reported May 24, 2015.
In December 2013, former interim government designated the Brotherhood a “terrorist” group; since Morsi’s ouster, the government has cracked down on the group and their supporters.