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Viewing cable 09CAIRO155, PROSECUTION ACTS ON CRIMINAL CASE AGAINST SAAD

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09CAIRO155 2009-01-29 13:01 2011-02-16 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Cairo
VZCZCXRO8020
RR RUEHROV
DE RUEHEG #0155 0291318
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 291318Z JAN 09
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1488
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
C O N F I D E N T I A L CAIRO 000155 
 
SIPDIS 
 
FOR NEA/ELA AND DRL/NESCA 
NSC FOR PASCUAL 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/29/2029 
TAGS: PREL PHUM PGOV KDEM EAID EG
SUBJECT: PROSECUTION ACTS ON CRIMINAL CASE AGAINST SAAD 
EDDIN IBRAHIM 
 
REF: A. 08 CAIRO 1675 B. 08 CAIRO 913 C. 07 CAIRO 3455 D. 07 CAIRO 1855 Classified By: ECPO Mincouns William R. Stewart for reason 1.4 (d).
1.(C) On January 28, Ahmed Rizk, Executive Director of the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies (IKC), confirmed for us press reports that on January 27 the Public Prosecutor (Egypt's Attorney-General equivalent) referred a criminal case against Egyptian-American democracy activist Saad Eddin Ibrahim to the State Security Prosecutor's Office for investigation. Ibrahim is the IKC's founding chairman, and one of the most prominent Egyptian advocates for political reform. Rizk told us that in November 2008 Hossam Mustafa, the leader of the miniscule "Free Republican" political party, filed the criminal case against Ibrahim for allegedly committing "espionage" through his statements published in newspaper articles in Egypt and abroad, asserting that he had convinced President Bush during a June 2007 meeting in Prague to withhold U.S. economic assistance to Egypt because of a lack of progress on democratic reform.

2.(C) Rizk said that he is unsure whether the State Security Prosecutor's Office is legally able to refer the criminal case for investigation without Ibrahim being present in Egypt. Therefore, Rizk continued, the IKC will ask its legal counsel whether it may be possible to prevent the prosecutor's office from referring the case onward.

3.(C) Ibrahim has not returned to Egypt since a complaint was filed against him in June 2007 for allegedly committing "espionage" by meeting with President Bush in Prague earlier that month and urging conditionality on U.S. aid to Egypt (ref D). IKC Executive Director Rizk told us that a misdemeanor court dismissed those charges, claiming the case was outside of its jurisdiction. Rizk said that Hossam Mustafa subsequently filed the criminal case on similar grounds in November 2008. In August 2008, a court ruled against Ibrahim in a civil lawsuit accusing him of "tarnishing Egypt's image abroad," and imposed a two-year prison sentence and a LE 10,000 (1,886 USD) fine (ref A).

4.(C) Comment: The Public Prosecutor's January 27 action on the "espionage" case is significant because it advances the only criminal case currently pending against Ibrahim. We will continue to follow developments in this case, as well as the five or six civil cases still pending against Ibrahim (refs A and B). SCOBEY