President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi issued an official decree on Thursday forcing four judges in the State Litigation Authority (SLA) into early retirement for their alleged links to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group.
The decree, published in the Official Gazette on Thursday, instructed Justice Minister Ahmed al-Zend to implement the presidential order and force the four judges — listed as Mahmoud Farahat, Talaat al-Ashry, Mohamed Youssef and Saeed Abdel Kerim — into early retirement. While the decree did not provide a reason, the decision appears to be an official approval of a previous order by the SLA’s disciplinary committee in December 2015 against the four judges.
The names of the judges appeared previously in investigations carried out by the Cairo Criminal Court’s investigations Judge Mohamed Sherine Fahmy into the Judges for Egypt group, which is accused of being aligned with the Brotherhood. The group came to light in 2012 when it released a public statement announcing former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi’s victory in the presidential runoffs ahead of the official results, reportedly in anticipation of the results being rigged against him.
Investigations indicated that Farahat, one of the judges forced into retirement in Thursday’s decree, was the general secretary and coordinator of Judges for Egypt. He was also appointed few days before Morsi’s ouster in June 2013 as an advisor to the finance minister at the time, and a member of the technical committee of the Constituent Assembly drafting the 2012 Constitution.
In March 2015, the Supreme Judicial Council referred 41 judges to retirement in the same case.