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Qandil: Egypt faces difficult challenges and needs justice

Former Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil said yesterday that Egypt is facing difficult challenges and needs justice as the base of rule because injustice will harm the future of the nation, the Anadolu news agency reported.

Qandil, who spoke only hours after his release from Tora Prison, described his detention saying: “I was completely isolated with no radio or newspapers, no books or contact with anyone.”

He said his prison experience was “a product of unfair rule” pointing out the rule of the Cassation Court on Saturday, which acquitted him, indicated there were severe errors in the application of the law.

When asked about his treatment in prison, Qandil said: “The treatment in prison is the same and will never change. I believe there are thousands like me in prison. I pray they also have justice and will be released soon.”

Qandil said that he was not fully aware of the developments in Egypt because of his isolation in prison and he refused to comment on the situation in the Gaza Strip for the same reason.

There were conflicting reports about the date of Qandil’s release. Security and legal sources said he would be released today or yesterday after legal papers were completed, but he was released yesterday evening.

On Friday, the Court of Cassation accepted Qandil’s appeal and abolished the verdict to imprison him for a year, to remove him from his job and to fine him 2,000 Egyptian pounds ($285).

The Court of Misdemeanour sentenced Qandil to one year in prison and to remove him from office in April 2013, for failing to implement the verdict of the administrative court which invalidated the cabinet’s decision to sell 90 per cent of the General Nile Company.

Qandil appealed the verdict twice but his appeal was rejected and the court upheld the verdict against him in September 2013.

The Egyptian security forces said they arrested Qandil in December 2013 while he tried to escape to Sudan.

Following the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, Qandil refused to remain at the head of a caretaker government and announced his resignation along with other Muslim Brotherhood ministers.

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