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Viewing cable 09CAIRO246, AYMAN NOUR-RELATED DEVELOPMENTS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09CAIRO246 2009-02-11 10:10 2011-02-16 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Cairo
VZCZCXRO8293
PP RUEHROV
DE RUEHEG #0246 0421025
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 111025Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1612
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L CAIRO 000246 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/10/2019 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM KDEM EG
SUBJECT: AYMAN NOUR-RELATED DEVELOPMENTS 
 
REF: A. CAIRO 64 
     B. 2008 CAIRO 2420 
     C. 2008 CAIRO 1565 
     D. 2007 CAIRO 3527
     E. 2007 CAIRO 2511

 Classified By: Minister-Counselor for Economic and Political Affairs William R. Stewart, for reason 1.4 (d).
1.(SBU) In a legal victory for the Ayman Nour-wing of the opposition Al Ghad party, on February 7 Egypt's Administrative Court ruled that Ehab Al Khouly (a Nour ally) is the legitimate head of the party. The court revoked a 2007 decision taken by the Political Parties Committee (which is dominated by the ruling party) that appointed Moussa Mustafa Moussa, a GOE-backed rival to Nour, as the head of the party (see ref E for details on that decision). In comments after the ruling, Moussa said he would appeal it; we thus anticipate that legal proceedings on the case will continue for several more months. Nour released a statement from prison, noting that he would send PPC chair Safwat El Sherif a letter calling on him to respect the ruling, and that, "This ruling has caused me to dedicate the rest of my life to defending the independence of the judiciary, in an effort to repair what has happened to this last bastion of freedom." Other Al Ghad leaders have told us they are "greatly relieved" and "delighted" about the ruling.

2.(C) In a separate development, on February 10, independent newspaper "Al Masry Al Yom" published a listing (reportedly obtained from Torah Prison) of the alleged infractions committed by Nour while in Torah Prison, that would make him ineligible for being paroled after having served three-quarters of his prison sentence ((Note: Egyptian law allows for prisoners who have demonstrated good behavior to be released after serving three-quarters of their term, which in Nour's case will be in July 2009. Nour's lawyers do not anticipate that the GOE will apply this non-mandatory practice to Nour. End note). The list includes charges of an "attempt to leak papers out of prison and cause turmoil, and not allowing the prison's vice-superintendent to review the papers," "going on a hunger strike," using "impolite words" with a prison officer, and refusing to let a prison doctor examine him. As Nour's wife Gameela Ismail recently told us (ref A), Nour has filed a legal case challenging these allegations, and other charges of assaulting a prison guard, and is very concerned about the possible impact such charges could have on his eligibility for an early release. The Cairo Administrative Court is scheduled to hear Nour's case on February 24. SCOBEY