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Committee of Fifty member protests against military court's proposed authority

February 5, 2014 at 2:11 am

The Sinai representative of the Committee of Fifty for amending the Egyptian Constitution, Musa’ad Abu-Fajr, has withdrawn his support for a motion after members insisted on prosecuting civilians before military courts.

Speaking to CNN, Abu-Fajr said: “I will escalate the issue and will do what satisfies my conscious in the final vote.” He did not rule out withdrawing from the committee altogether.

The draft bill, which was proposed by the military representative in the committee, says that the military judiciary is to be independent and the sole body to review all crimes related to the armed forces, including crimes carried out by the general intelligence services.

Abu-Fajr severely criticised the bill and said it was not appropriate for the committee. “Originally, it should not have been proposed,” he said.

According to the bill, civilian cases are to be reviewed by military courts if they represent a direct aggression against military bases, military compounds and camps, military zones or borders, military equipment, weapons, ammunition, documents and secrets.

Civilians can also stand before military courts if they carry out aggressions against military assets, properties, factories and staffs. The law allows the major of each military court to decide which case is to stand before what court.