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Cablegate: Egyptian Court Dismisses Lawsuits Against

VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHEG #0913 1251447
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 041447Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9150
INFO RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS CAIRO 000913

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

NSC STAFF FOR PASCUAL

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PREL PGOV KDEM EG
SUBJECT: EGYPTIAN COURT DISMISSES LAWSUITS AGAINST
DEMOCRACY ACTIVIST, OTHERS REMAIN PENDING

REF: 07 CAIRO 3455

Sensitive but unclassified. Please protect accordingly.

1.(SBU) On April 29, a Cairo court dismissed two civil
lawsuits accusing Egyptian democracy activist Saad Eddin
Ibrahim of "being a fugitive" and "giving information to a
foreign country." The lawsuits, one filed by the leader of a
minuscule political party and the other by a presidential
appointee to Egypt's Shoura Council, were part of a group of
up to twenty lawsuits filed against Ibrahim and the Ibn
Khaldoun Center (IKC), which he directs (and which receives
USG financial support), in late 2007 by political figures
claiming to be acting individually (reftel). Over the last
several months, Egypt's courts have consistently ruled in
Ibrahim's favor, dismissing lawsuits and even awarding him
damages in a libel action he filed against the nominally
independent, pro-government, Rose Al Yousef newspaper.
According to the IKC, only "5 or 6" of the cases remain
pending against Ibrahim, and all cases against the IKC have
been dismissed.

2.(SBU) Comment: The lawsuits are a tactic by government
supporters and others seeking to burnish nationalist
credentials and to curry favor with elements of the
government that hate Ibrahim, in order to maintain pressure
on him and the IKC and keep him out of the country (he is
currently residing in Istanbul). Egypt's courts have not been
complicit, as they handle these cases expeditiously and
transparently, despite many of the plaintiffs' close ties to
the government.
SCOBEY

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