Military court upholds Konsowa’s 6-year sentence

A military appeals court rejected the appeal of Armed Forces Colonel Ahmed Konsowa on Monday, upholding the six-year sentence issued against him in December, according to Hoda Nasrallah, a member of his defense team.

Konsowa was charged with publishing a video in which he expressed his political views as an active military officer, thereby violating military code and procedure. He will be able to challenge the verdict once it is ratified.

According to Nasrallah, the Supreme Constitutional Court scheduled a session on Saturday to review the case filed by Konsowa challenging Article 103 of Law 232/159 governing military service, which prohibits active members of the military from expressing political opinions.

Konsowa had announced his intention to run for president in a video posted on social media in late November, wherein he mentioned several unsuccessful attempts to resign from the Armed Forces. In a Facebook statement, which has since been deleted, Konsowa elaborated that he had previously filed 11 judicial cases enabling him to resign from the military, to no avail. Following his candidacy announcement, Konsowa was brought before military prosecution and interrogated on December 2, and the North Cairo Military Court issued its six-year sentence to Konsowa on December 19.

Former Armed Forces Chief of Staff and presidential candidate Sami Anan was arrested and referred to military prosecution under similar charges. Anan announced his intention to run in the upcoming presidential elections on January 22, and was accused in a televised statement by the Armed Forces of announcing his bid without obtaining prior approval. Anan is currently being detained in military prison, according to his lawyer Nasser Amin.