publish date 2021-06-17 17:35:00
The final and final ruling of the Egyptian Court of Cassation, the country’s highest appeals court, to death 12 Egyptians and life imprisonment to 31 leaders and members of the Muslim Brotherhood, raised questions about possible legal ways to stop the execution of death sentences in Egypt despite the end of the litigation stages.
The ruling sparked speculation about whether international pressure from some international human rights organizations, or possible mediation from Turkey or Qatar, played a role in stopping these sentences, while talk was also raised about the possibility of Sisi using his constitutional and legal powers to commute the death sentences against Brotherhood leaders.
(Article 155) of the Constitution states that “the President of the Republic, after consulting the Council of Ministers, has the right to pardon or commute the penalty..” The second clause of the article included two types of pardon decisions: “A pardon for punishment, and a comprehensive pardon.”
According to the Code of Criminal Procedure, the sentence is submitted to the President of the Republic, either to ratify it or to commute it, provided that this is done within 14 days, before the date of execution is set by a decision of the Public Prosecution, and the Prisons Authority in the Ministry of Interior implements the death sentence.
Article (470) states that “whenever the death sentence becomes final, the case papers must be submitted immediately to the President of the Republic through the mediation of the Minister of Justice, and the sentence is executed if the order is not issued for pardon or replacement of the penalty within 14 days.”
Articles (74) and (75) of the Penal Code specify the difference between the two types and that pardoning the penalty is to drop it all or to replace it with a lighter penalty, and it is by a decision of the President of the Republic and does not require a law to be issued.
“A constitutional and legal right”
Regarding the legal ways to stop the execution of the death sentences in Egypt, Dr. Yasser Hamza, a former professor of constitutional law and political systems at the Faculty of Law, Menoufia University, said that “the request for a pardon is a constitutional right regulated by law.”
In his interview with Arabi 21, he referred to the text (Article 155) of the constitution: “The President of the Republic, after seeking the opinion of the Council of Ministers, has the right to pardon or reduce the penalty, and a comprehensive pardon is not granted except by a law that recognizes the approval of the majority of members of the House of Representatives.”
He pointed out that “according to the Egyptian Code of Criminal Procedure, the death sentence is not implemented until after the ratification of the President of the Republic, as (Article 470) states that the President of the Republic has the right to pardon or commute the sentence.”
He explained that “the death sentence is executed if the president does not issue a pardon or change the sentence within 14 days, which means that after the expiration of that period, the death sentence becomes final and the sentence is implemented.”
Hamza believes that to complete the legal path after the cassation ruling, there are only two ways to pardon or cancel the penalty, either by submitting a request for pardon within the legal period of 14 days, or by submitting a petition against the ruling in accordance with the text of the Civil and Commercial Procedures Law.
He stressed that Article (241) of the Pleadings Law specified the conditions for the petition in eight points, and that (Article 242) specified the date for the petition to be 40 days from the date of issuance of the judgment, hinting that “(Article 2) of Law No. 133 of 2018 excluded state security crimes and crimes Terrorism, but the amendment applies to the facts that occur after the issuance of the law.”
He added, “The lawyer of the death row must complete any paths that may be a reason for canceling the penalty or pardoning it, whether by submitting a request for pardon or a petition for reconsideration,” stressing that “all of them are legal means.”
Sisi will not do it
Egyptian lawyer and politician Magdy Hamdan asserted that there are no other legal ways to stop the execution of death sentences in Egypt, and said that “the verdicts were finally issued and the litigation stages completed, except for those abroad who have been sentenced, who have the right to appeal at any time after their arrest.”
Speaking to “Arabi 21”, he believes that any international pressure, with the presence of a media mobilization and the spread of calls to stop executions on all platforms, may lead to a retrial; Especially since there is a background from abroad that the Egyptian state’s rulings revolve around execution.”
He asserted that “Sisi will not do it, will not respond, and will not use his constitutional and legal powers; He is walking in one framework, does not recognize any pressure, and realizes that if he intervenes once, he will intervene many times, and there are previous executions that were carried out to the end.”
He believes that “the Egyptian state is distorting and the world loses confidence in the trials for this persistence,” noting that “during the era of Hosni Mubarak (30 years), there were no significant executions, which made Egyptians have mercy on him even if they disagreed with him.”
Sisi might do it
For his part, lawyer and human rights lawyer Amr Abdel Hadi said, “Al-Sisi wants to hit two birds with one stone; On the one hand: blackmailing the Turkish and Qatari regimes and exploiting the rapprochement with them to achieve financial gains.
He added in his interview with “Arabi 21”: “On the other hand, Sisi wants to take advantage of America’s satisfaction with him due to the services he provided to Israel when he rescued it from the grip of Hamas, and takes advantage of their silence and executes the death sentence if the blackmail project fails.”
He explained, “There is a last card left in Sisi’s hands, if his plan fails and it becomes difficult for him to carry out the death sentences, and he sees that there are gains from his decision to pardon… then he will issue his decision to reduce the death penalty to life against the 12 leaders.”
The Egyptian politician stressed, “Al-Sisi knows very well that if the punishment is implemented, it will be the spark that will be ignited in the hearts of the families of thousands of detainees, and they will decide to free their families from the grip of the detainees, because Sisi will end their lives sooner or later.”
Human rights lawyer Osama Bayoumi confirmed that “the defendants have a final ruling that has four outlets.” He explained that “the first of them is: a petition for reconsideration to the Public Prosecutor, submitted by the convict if new evidence appears that was not submitted to the trial court or the court of cassation, pursuant to the text (Article 448) of the The Code of Criminal Procedure, and the submission of the petition does not entail a stay of execution unless the death sentence is issued.”
He said that “the second executor: the convict’s request to rescind the ruling issued to the General Assembly of the Court of Cassation, if it was in violation of the principles established by the Court of Cassation.”
He explained that “the third executor: a request to stay the execution before the Supreme Constitutional Court if the trial or the investigation procedures were marred by a fundamental defect, or the court issuing the ruling was not competent or exceptional (special), or there was a proven coercion that occurred on the convict to force him to confess to crimes he did not commit.” .
He pointed out that “the fourth port: the request to replace the death penalty with life imprisonment, in accordance with the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”
Through social media, activists and families of the detainees called for a halt to the executions, and Mona Al-Masry, the wife of the detainee, Dr. Ahmed Abdel Atti, secretary of the late President Mohamed Morsi, participated in the hashtag “Stop_Executions.”
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Source : ألدستور