Monday, December 10, 2007
A Shater to Make First Public Appearance in 10 Months on Monday
Muslim Brotherhood Deputy Chairman Khayrat El Shater will make his first public appearance in 10 months when he goes to Sayedda Zeinab's prosecution office tomorrow (Monday). El Shater is currently standing before a military tribunal along with 39 Brotherhood members and leaders, facing charges of money laundry, and leading and financing an outlawed organization. Although four civilian courts have already examined the case and found the charges to be “groundless, fabricated and politically motivated without any substantial evidence whatsoever,” and have therefore ordered the immediate release of the detainees, El Shater and 32 others are still being held in custody in Tora prison. Seven others are being tried in absentia as they reside outside Egypt. Attorney General called el Shater to appear before the prosecutor without stating clear reasons. A memo was sent to Tora Prison’s officer in charge, who informed El Shater he will be going to prosecutor’s office on Monday. El Shater is expected to talk to reporters for the first time since February. His last public appearance was in the court session in which his assets were frozen. Over the past 35 sessions of the ongoing military tribunal, he was unable to speak to any media outlet since no journalists, reporters, and human rights observers were allowed access to the courtroom. The decision to transfer civilians to a military tribunal was denounced by several human rights organizations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. The tribunal is expected to conclude within a few weeks, and several reports have already been released regarding the expected verdicts. According to reports and sources, the judge “received” verdicts from the presidential palace 3 times.