Egypt Independent

Thursdays Papers: Judges claim Brotherhood has no legal status, prompting much speculation



Some of the country's newspapers celebrated a non-binding report Thursday issued by the State Commissioners Authority the day before, which deems the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood group as an unlawful entitity since it is not officially registered. 

While the country's state-owned newspapers use a conservative tone in their reporting, private newspapers are celebrating the verdict in direct contrast to the complete silence from the Brotherhood's mouthpiece, the Freedom and Justice newspaper.
 
State-owned Al-Ahram newspaper features a small headline in its front page that says the SCA's report found the Brotherhood had no legal standing.
 
The newspaper describes the report is an "important" development that dates back to 1977 when the Brotherhood's former Supreme Guide Omar al-Telmesny filed a lawsuit demanding a decision by late President Gamal Abdel Nasser to disband the group in 1954 be struck from the books.
 
Al-Tahrir private newspaper echoes Al-Ahram’s statements, while independent daily Youm 7 XX deems the report "dangerous."
 
Youm7 says the 16-page report recommends the Supreme Administrative Court issue a ruling stipulating that the largest Islamist organization must be dissolved due to its questionably legal status. The report supports an earlier decision in 1992 that said provisions made in the 1956 Constitution made any decree of the Revolution's Leadership Council, headed by Nasser since 1954, immune to legal appeal.
 
Privately-owned Al-Shorouk also gets into the history of the three-decade old case originally filed by Telmesany, saying it was rumored that many lawsuit documents were deliberately hidden or lost during the lengthy trial.
 
The newspaper adds that Telmesny died before a final decision was made by the Cairo Administrative Court, where the case was first heard and thrown out. His successor Mohamed Hamed Abul Nasr later took on the case and continued proceedings.
 
In 1992, the Cairo Administrative Court rejected the Brotherhood's lawsuit, again questioning the group’s status as a legal entity, pushing Nasr to appeal the decision.
 
For over 30 years the SCA had been tasked with issuing its recommendation, asserts the newspaper, which it eventually did in a suprise announcement on Wednesday.
 
Meanwhile, according to the FJP paper, ignorance is bliss. Instead of covering the story, it celebrates the final approval release of the contentious Islamic bonds law passed by the FJP-dominated Shura Council.
 
The newspaper says the bonds are "in the service of the people", totally neglecting to cover the SCA’s report.
 
The daily also features the agenda of a Brotherhood press conference set for Thursday to "declare its stance on the events that took place in front of the group's Moqattam headquarters" on 
Saturday. Several protesters and journalists claim they were attacked by Brotherhood “thugs” and are calling for justice.
 
Daily Al-Shorouk newspaper has a different spin on the controversial Islamic bonds law. It calls the law "void" and quotes unnamed judicial sources as saying the new legislation is unconstitutional because it violates Articles 4 and 207 of the Constitution ratified in December.
 
The paper accuses lawmakers of speeding its approval despite gaping holes that make it subject to legal challenges. It also says the law is being criticized by many factions. 
 
Article 4 stipulates that Al-Azhar's Supreme Scholars Council should be consulted about any laws related to Sharia after being finalized by Parliament, which the Shura Council refused to do in this case.
 
"This makes the process of issuing the law chock-full of critical legal loopholes," the sources say.
 
On a different note, Al-Tahrir newspaper publishes an exclusive interview with former presidential candidate and ex-Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, who lost to President Mohamed Morsy in the final stage of the presidential elections last June.
 
The contentious Hosni Mubarak-era politician, who fled to the United Arab Emirates just before he was charged for corruption by the Cairo Criminal Court, slams the performance of the Brotherhood.
 
"Even if the Brotherhood’s rule ends, I will never be the president of Egypt," he says, adding that that Morsy and the Brotherhood live in a fantasy bubble world far away from reality.
"I want to destroy this bubble," he adds.
 
He says that no one can "bear the burden of the Brotherhood anymore," concluding that the Brotherhood is also worried about its decreasing popularity. 
 
He also explains that ruling Egypt amid these troubled times is "mission impossible" for the Brotherhood because they are "failing and ignorant."
 
"Mubarak ordered security forces not to shoot the protesters right in front of me and now there are unholy attempts to destroy the police," he argues.   
 
Egypt’s papers:
 
Al-Ahram: Daily, state-run, largest distribution in Egypt
 
Al-Akhbar: Daily, state-run, second to Al-Ahram in institutional size
 
Al-Gomhurriya: Daily, state-run
 
Rose al-Youssef: Daily, state-run
 
Al-Dostour: Daily, privately owned
 
Al-Shorouk: Daily, privately owned
 
Al-Watan: Daily, privately owned
 
Al-Wafd: Daily, published by the liberal Wafd Party
 
Youm7: Daily, privately owned
 
Al-Tahrir: Daily, privately owned
 
Al-Sabah: Daily, privately owned
 
Freedom and Justice: Daily, published by the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party
 
Sawt al-Umma: Weekly, privately owned
 
Al-Arabi: Weekly, published by the Nasserist Party
 
Al-Nour: Official paper of the Salafi Nour Party