Chief editor of Al-Tahrir website accused of insulting judiciary, released on bail

The chief editor of the privately owned Al-Tahrir news website, Mohamed Fawzy, was questioned by the prosecution on Saturday concerning an article Al-Tahrir published about alleged crimes by members of the judiciary.

He was released hours later on LE5,000 bail, pending further investigations.

Fawzy wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday that he was accused of insulting the judiciary, obstructing justice, influencing witnesses and publishing an investigation without the prosecution’s authorization.

A source close to Al-Tahrir told Mada Masr, speaking on condition of anonymity, that the prosecution opened an investigation after the Supreme Judicial Council filed a complaint over an article published by the newspaper on December 19, titled, “A prosecutor was charged with killing a broker in New Cairo … But the incident is not the first of its kind,” which listed criminal accusations and convictions brought against members of the judiciary. The council claimed the report insulted the judicial authority, and it has since been removed from Al-Tahrir’s website.

Fawzy received a phone call on April 21, informing him that he had been summoned by the prosecution for routine questioning. He wrote on Facebook that he was surprised to learn that charges had been brought against him on his arrival at the prosecution’s office in New Cairo.

The investigation took approximately five hours, before the prosecution released him on bail without detaining him. He was subsequently taken to the New Cairo Police Station, where he paid the bail, and he was released after the necessary security and criminal record checks were completed.

Journalists Syndicate board member Amr Badr criticized the prosecution for failing to inform the board of Fawzy’s summons, as is legally required. He told Mada Masr that the prosecution had informed the syndicate board when journalists from the privately owned Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper were summoned on April 10.

State Security Prosecution interrogated Al-Masry Al-Youm’s Chief Editor Mohamed al-Sayed Saleh, along with eight reporters, on April 19, following the publishing of a front page headline on the third day of the presidential election that read, “The state mobilizes voters on the last day of elections.” The newspaper retracted the headline and formally apologized.