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Cablegate: Egypt's Prosecutor General Orders Release In

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHEG #0053 0131539
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 131539Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7888
INFO RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS CAIRO 000053

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

NSC STAFF FOR PASCUAL

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KIRF PHUM PGOV EG
SUBJECT: EGYPT'S PROSECUTOR GENERAL ORDERS RELEASE IN
RELIGIOUS IDENTITY CASE

REF: A. CAIRO 3334
B. CAIRO 3398

Sensitive but unclassified. Please protect accordingly.

1. (SBU) According to her lawyer, Egypt's Office of the
Prosecutor General ordered the release on January 13 of
Shadia Nagui Ibrahim, who was convicted of fraud on November
21, 2007, in connection with her father's brief conversion in
the early 1960s from Christianity to Islam (ref A). Ibrahim,
raised as a Coptic Christian and claiming to be unaware of
her father's temporary conversion to Islam, stated on her
marriage certificate in the early 1980's that she was
Christian, leading to the recent conviction. She immediately
began serving a three-year prison sentence and filed an
appeal.

2. (SBU) Following Ibrahim's conviction, we made inquiries
about the case to the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and
Interior and the Public Prosecutor's Office. The Ambassador
also raised this case with Foreign Minister Aboul Gheit (ref
B).

3. (SBU) Ibrahim's lawyer, Ramses Al Najaar, told us on
January 13 that he expects his client will be released from
prison on January 14. According to the El Najaar, this is
not a final verdict and her appeal is pending, although he is
optimistic about the outcome. He said he believes the Public
Prosecutor intervened to correct an injustice. He also said
that the Public Prosecutor ordered an investigation of the
judge who handled Ibrahim's trial and sentencing.
Ricciardone

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