Cairo court sets trial date for ElBaradei

Former vice president accused of "betraying national trust" because of resignation after crackdown on Morsi supporters.

    A Cairo court has set a September trial date for Mohamed ElBaradei, the recently-resigned interim vice president for foreign affairs, on charges of "breaching national trust."

    The charges against ElBaradei were filed by a law professor at Cairo's Helwan University, according to a report in the state-run Al-Ahram.

    He stands accused of "betraying" the public by resigning on August 14, a misdemeanour charge that could carry an $1,430 fine if he is convicted.

    Khaled Dawoud, a former spokesman of the National Salvation Front of which ElBaradei was one of the founders, told Al Jazeera that the prosecutor general's decision to refer the case to court was probably a consequence of the current atmosphere of polarisation in the country.

    "This is a reflection of the atmosphere in Egypt right now. You cannot take your independent stand or otherwise you will be considered breaching national trust" Dawoud said.

    "The complaint against ElBaradei is ridiculous. I just even could not believe this kind of case will be filed."

    The longtime diplomat stepped down hours after security forces brutally dispersed two protests in support of deposed President Mohamed Morsi, killing at least 830 people, according to official figures.

    In his resignation letter, ElBaradei lamented the violent crackdown, warning of a "state of polarisation and grave division... the social fabric is threatened as violence breeds violence."

    According to the complaint, ElBaradei's resignation gave the wrong impression to the international community, suggesting that the Egyptian government had used excessive force against protesters. "[This] contradicts reality," the complaint said.

    Under Egyptian law, anyone can file a criminal complaint, which is usually investigated by a judge who decides whether or not to refer the case to trial. In ElBaradei's case, however, because it is a misdemeanor offense, the case will proceed directly to trial; the judge will decide at the first hearing whether to allow it to proceed.

    ElBaradei left Egypt for Vienna days after his resignation, and remains outside the country.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    World Cup 2018 quiz: How big a football fan are you?

    World Cup 2018 quiz: How big a football fan are you?

    Answer as many correct questions in 90 seconds to win the World Cup with your favourite team.

    The shocking story of Israel's disappeared babies

    The shocking story of Israel's disappeared babies

    New information has come to light about thousands of mostly Yemeni children believed to have been abducted in the 1950s.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.