EOHR report on the foreign fund lawsuit session On February 26

March 4th, 2012 by Editor

North Cairo Criminal Court postponed the foreign fund lawsuit session to April 26
On February 26, 2012, North Cairo Criminal Court postponed the foreign fund lawsuit session to April 26, lawsuit no. 1110, year 2012, Kasr Al Nile. The lawsuit includes 43 political and human rights activists, among them are 19 Americans, 2 Germans and 16 Egyptians. The activists belong to International Center for U.S. reporters, Freedom House, IRI and NDI from America and Konrad Adenauer from Germany. The area around the court house witnessed existence of large numbers of security troops in order to secure the attendees of the session. Many protesters stopped in front of the courthouse to express refusal of the trial and others were there calling for the release of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, accused of New York bombings in 1993.  Besides being diabetic since 40 years, Sheikh Omar suffers high blood pressure. Since his detention, Sheikh Omar was visited once by his wife and conducted only two phone calls with his wife also. He was kept in solitary cell for 18 years.
The court session of the foreign finance began at 1.30 pm, headed by Judge Mohamed Mahmoud Shokri, in attendance of large numbers of media specialists and scores of cameras of local and international satellites. The defense lawyers could hardly find places in the overpopulated court room.
The session secretary mentioned the names of the accused people; 15 of them attended the session including 2 women.
The defendants in the case are:

No. Name Nationality / age / position
1 Samuel Adams Lahoud (fugitive) American / Lebanese – director of the International Republican Institute in Egypt
2 Shirin Séany Nanfit American / Indian origin – director of the International Republican Institute in Luxor
3 Christian Engle 37 years old  – Norwegian – branch manager -the Republican Institute in Alexandria
4 Jan-Erik SORT Chuck Norwegian – former director of the Republican Institute in Cairo
5 Hans Chris Holeezznn American – branch manager – the Republican Institute in Luxor until September 2011
6 John George Tomastwiecks American – Director of the training center parties, the International Republican Institute
7 rosette Khader Mohammed Abdel Hady Borai Palestinian – 39 years – the institute program officer
8 Osama instinctively (fugitive) American / Lebanese origin, a program assistant  for the Republican Institute in Cairo
9 Mark Sanya (fugitive) American /  Financial Manager  – the Republican Institute
10 Jessica Elizabeth Keegan American / responsible for the political parties’ program – Republican Institute
11 Ahmed Mohammed Ahmed Shawky 26 years old – financial officer – Republican Institute in Alexandria
12 Ahmed Abdel-Aziz Abdel-Al 24 years old – accountant of the Republican Institute in Luxor
13 Zakaria Ahmed Adam 48 years old – responsible for parties programs – Republican Institute
14 Isam Muhammad Ali 25 years old – Assistant Program Officer – the Republican Institute
15 Julie Hughes 44 years – American – Manager of NDI in Luxor
16 Almadden Corthović 40 years old – Serbian – political parties’ trainer for NDI in Egypt
17 Miletic Budimir 33 years old – Serbian – Branch Manager – National Democratic Institute in Alexandria and trainer of political parties in Egypt
18 Leila Jaffar American of Syrian origin – 34 years old – deputy director of the Democratic Institute
19 Robert Frederick Baker 43 years old – senior trainer of political parties for NDI in Egypt
20 Marianna Cova Hovic 38 years old – Serbian – trainer of political parties – Democratic Institute
21 Setsy Lynn Haag 39 years old – trainer for the Democratic Institute
22 Dana Diaconu American –  responsible for training programs – Democratic Institute
23 Ali Guda Alhaji Suleiman (fugitive) 35 year-old – Lebanese – training and technical support officer – Democratic Institute
24 Maroun Abdo Sfeir (fugitive) 38 year-old – Lebanese – training and support officer – Democratic Institute
25 Michael James Pelt Saro (fugitive) American – training and support officer – Democratic Institute
26 Mohammed Ashraf Kamel Amr 26 years  – parties’ Programs Assistant – Democratic Institute – Alexandria
27 Said Ahmed 29 years old – responsible for the programs of political parties NDI Branch in Giza
28 Hafsa Maher 25 years old – program officer of political parties NDI branch in Giza
29 Amjad Mohamed Ahmed 40 years old, Assistant Director of NDI
30 Sarles Dunn (fugitive) American – regional director of Freedom House Organization in Egypt and the Middle East
31 Sherif Ahmed Sobhy Mansour (fugitive) american of Egyptian origin, director of programs – Freedom House in Egypt and the Middle East
32 Samir Amin Salim Jarrah (fugitive) 47 years old – Jordanian – responsible for Freedom House programs in North Africa at the Office of Jordan
33 Mohammed Ahmed Abdul Aziz Said 38 years old – program coordinator – Freedom House branch in Egypt
34 Nancy Jamal al-Din Hussein Akil 35 years old – Branch Manager of Freedom House in Minia, Egypt
35 Basem Fathy Mohamed Ali Mahmoud Programs officer – Freedom House – Minia Branch, January
36 Magdi Moharam Hassan Mustafa 34 years old – financial affairs officer for Freedom House in Egypt
37 Patrick Butler (fugitive) American, Deputy Director General and responsible for training at the American International Center for Journalists
38 Natcha Times (fugitive) American – development and program management officer in the Middle East for the International Center for American journalists
39 Meda Michael Benz (fugitive) the International Center for American journalists – responsible for development in Egypt
40 Yahya Zakaria Ghanem 51 years old – director of the International Center for American journalists branch in Cairo
41 Islam Mohammed Shafiq Ahmed Fouad 26 years old – program director assistant in charge of financial affairs at the International American center for journalists
42 Andreas Jacobs 42 years old – German – resident manager of the branch office of the German Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Egypt
43 Margaret Christine 46 years old  – German – Accounting Manager
The representative of the prosecution general said that the accused people were referred by police stations in Cairo, Alexandria, Giza and Luxor. He stated that from March 1, 2011 to December 29, 2011, the prosecutor general office received complaints on establishing and administrating branches of international organizations in Egypt without licenses, by the accused persons 1 to 10 in the list. They established 5 branches for the IRI that has got the main headquarters in USA. They also launched many unlicensed training programs, studies, researches and questionnaires for supporting some local political parties and powers in the abovementioned governorates. They also prepared detailed reports on their activities in Egypt and sent those reports to the main headquarters in USA. The accused persons financed activities some people who work for civil society organizations in Egypt. They also received USD 22 million from the main headquarters in USA last year, including USD 18 million in May 2011, throughout banking transfers to personal banking accounts.
The accused persons 11 to 14 were charged with providing assistance for the abovementioned accused persons, 1 to 10, including conducting researches and studies for them in addition to receiving amounts of money from IRI representatives in Egypt.
The accused persons no. 15 to 25 in the list were charged for establishing three headquarters for the American NDI in Alexandria, Giza and Assuit. The headquarters in Egypt received USD 18 million last year, including USD 14 million in April 2011.
The accused persons no. 26 to 29 in the list were charged with contributing administration of IRI in Egypt and receiving payments from the headquarters in America.
The accused persons no. 30 to 33 were charged with administration of unlicensed headquarters for the American Freedom House Organization in Cairo. The local branch received USD 4.391.104 and the accused persons no. 34 to 36 were charged with providing assistance to the headquarters administration.
The accused persons no. 37 to 40 were charged with establishing the unlicensed International Center for Journalists in Cairo that received USD 2.421.843 from the headquarters in USA in addition to providing assistance to the accused person no. 41 in the list.
The accused persons no. 42 and 43 were charged with cooperation with German Organization Konrad Adenauer for launching unlicensed political programs and studies in Egypt in addition to receiving EUR 1.600.000 from the headquarters in Germany.
The defending lawyers, Negad Al Borai, Hafez Abu Seada, Ahmed Abdel Hafez and Mohamed Moneb, called for postponement of the lawsuit discussion on order to review the charges against the activists. Some lawyers attended the court session and called for civil rights and an emergency compensation of LE 100.000 to be paid by the accused persons.
At the end of the session, the judge decided postponement of the lawsuit discussion to April 26, 2012 and providing each accused person with an interpreter of his or her nationality.
Mr. Hafez Abu Seada, the head of EOHR, one of the defense lawyers, stressed on the significance of the right to peaceful assembly. He also stated that what has happened represents an unjustified attack against the civil society organizations; it does not comply with the principals of human rights and the rule of law, called by the Egyptian revolution. The standards used for handling political parties and syndicates are different from those used for handling the civil society organizations, although all of them are partners in the democratic transformation process in Egypt.
Mr. Hafez Abu Seada also said that the one who calls for civil rights should have direct interests and links with the damages and harm done in order to file a lawsuit. The lawyers, who called for the civil rights during the foreign finance court session, did not come under any slightest damage or harm. They declared that they represent the damaged Egyptian people without providing any authorization documents. They should have had official authorizations from the affected Egyptian people in order to appear in court and call for their civil rights, but now they do not have the suitable legal status for filing a lawsuit.
Finally, on Thursday, March 1, 2012, the prosecutor general Judge Abdel Maged Mahmoud, cancelled the travel ban on the non-Egyptian defendants of the foreign finance lawsuit. The defendants took an American military aircraft from Cairo International Airport on the night of March 1, 2012 to the United States. There were many reactions to the decision that was welcomed by the US administration and denounced by many local political powers, which were mostly against the Supreme Council for Armed Forces, the prosecutor general and Al Ganzory Government.
Most of criticism went to Al Ganzory Government that declared many times that it will handle the political finance lawsuit firmly and no compromise will be reached with these foreign organizations that negatively affect the Egyptian national security. The government also announced that, during the police raid against the headquarters of these organizations, the police found documents that can be taken as evidences for financing illegal activities in Egypt. Dr. Fayza Aboul Naga, the Egyptian Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, accused the foreign organization of political interfere in the Egyptian local affairs and creation of chaos in addition to having maps for dividing Egypt to 4 states and maps for churches and army camps.
So, the travel permission decision issued by the prosecutor general created a state of unexplainable disorder. The Egyptian people now do not understand how could the Egyptian authorities charge those people for dangerous crimes against the Egyptian supremacy and allow them to leave Egypt at the same time. Dr. Abdel Moniem Aboul Fotouh, an expected presidential candidate, described the discussion as a miscalculated political deal severely violated the independency of the Egyptian judiciary. Even Al Ahram News Gate, one of the most important national news website, stated that a source preferred to remain anonymous said that the US administration promised American, Arab and international grant of USD 50 billion to Egypt, if those people released.

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