Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A strange procedure in Egypt

Shawki Ibrahim Abdel-Karim Allam, Grand Mufti of Egypt
That military justice procedure varies from country to country is hardly news. Occasionally, however, one comes across a local practice -- applicable to both military and civilian cases -- that stands out from the crowd. Consider Exhibit A from Egypt:
An Egyptian military court referred eight defendants to the Grand Mufti to give an opinion on death sentences handed to them on militancy charges. 
Out of the eight defendants, two are still at large and were sentenced in absentia. 
The court set a hearing on Mar. 13 to issue the final ruling on the case, after the Grand Mufti issues his opinion. According to the military judiciary code, the verdict can be challenged before the military appeals court. 
Consulting Egypt's Grand Mufti is a procedural step adopted in all cases which involve death sentences. The Mufti's rulings are not binding, yet it is customary for the court to adopt them.
Asrat Masriya's further details on the case can be found here. The Mufti's opinion in capital cases is secret, according to this Wikipedia entry.

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