Egyptian court voids military arrests

June 26, 2012 at 1:48 PM
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CAIRO, June 26 (UPI) -- Egypt's highest court voided a decree Tuesday that gives the military the power to arrest civilians for offenses involving political protest.

The Supreme Administrative Court postponed its decisions on four other controversial issues, Ahram Online reported.

Those include the constitutionality of the upper and lower houses of Parliament, the Shura Council and constituent assembly.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Force's justice ministry issued a decree June 13 that allowed the military to make civilian arrests for offenses that ranged from "crimes and misdemeanors harmful to the government" to blocking traffic. Most of the offenses involved protest crimes likely to occur during strikes and demonstrations.

The high court said it would rule July 7 on the dissolution of the constituent assembly and on Sept. 1 on its constitutionality It plans to rule July 10 on the constitutionality of the Shura Council and on a military decree giving the SCAF the power to dissolve the body charged with writing Egypt's new constitution.

In another development, Ahmed Shafiq, who lost the presidential runoff to Mohamed Morsi, fled to the United Arab Emirates, Tuesday, reported.

Shafiq, who served as ousted President Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister, had been barred from leaving the country to face charges of corruption during his tenure as civil aviation minister. He is accused of wasting billions of public dollars as well as embezzling $800 million, said.

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