CAIRO: Member of Parliament Tawfik Okasha, who was beaten in the parliament building Sunday, has been banned from attending 10 House of Representatives sessions for his “verbal abuse” of speaker Ali Abdel Aal in mid-February, per a Monday parliamentary decision, Youm7 reported.
Okasha was also referred to investigation by Abdel Aal Sunday morning over the former’s Feb. 25 meeting with the Israeli ambassador to Cairo. Okasha showed up to Sunday’s session nonetheless, where he was physically attacked by colleague Kamal Ahmed who hit him with his shoe to express his condemnation of the meeting. Ahmed thus far faces no charges.
The parliament initially rejected a penalty proposed by a committee investigating Okasha for attacking Abdel Aal, other members and journalists verbally, initially setting three sessions. The penalty has thus been toughened.
Per requests filed by members of parliament, Abdel Aal announced that yet another committee will investigate Okasha for his meeting with Israeli ambassador to Cairo Haim Koren Thursday. The committee will also investigate parliamentarian Kamal Ahmed for the shoe throwing.
Okasha told the Egyptian media on Sunday that he had informed “security bodies” of his move before the meeting.
Although Cairo and Tel Aviv signed a peace treaty in 1979, and the two countries maintain mutual embassies and have trade agreements, any fraternization among civilians is treated as suspect by most Egyptians.
Meanwhile, the Attorney-General ordered on Monday an urgent investigation into a report claiming that Okasha had perjured himself in the documents he submitted to the High Elections Committee before running for the parliament.
The report, filed by lawyer Tarek Mahmoud, claims that Okasha’s PhD in the management of media institutions from so-called Lakewood Bradenton University. Okasha’s PhD was a hot topic in 2011, after he became famous as a result of controversial episodes that were material for satire on social media.
In 2011, social media widely circulated that Okasha’s university does not exist.
If the lie is confirmed, Okasha may face a jail sentence.