Minister: Kuwaiti lawyers have not asked to join Mubarak’s defense team

Egypt has not received requests from Kuwaiti lawyers to join the defense team of ousted President Hosni Mubarak, who is on trial on charges of corruption and authorizing the killing of protesters, said Justice Minister Mohamed al-Guindi on Saturday.

He was responding to claims that 10 Kuwaiti lawyers will assist in Marabark's defense, as Egyptian state news agency MENA reported on Friday. Guindi said he had only read about the idea in newspapers. 

Guindi also told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the court is the only authority that can grant permission to attend the trial.

Judge Abdel Aziz Omar, head of Cairo's Appeal Court, said granting such permission is exclusively the remit of Ahmed Refaat, the judge presiding over the trial.

Omar said the Kuwaiti lawyers are not registered at the Egyptian Lawyers Syndicate, but could join Mubarak's defense team if the Egyptian Justice Ministry grants them licenses.

A judicial source told Al-Masry Al-Youm that they could obtain licenses from the Ministry of Justice, but that Sunday would be the last possible day for this, as Mubarak's trial will resume on Monday.

Meanwhile, the lawyer heading the Egyptian volunteer team defending Mubarak, Yousry Abdel Razak, said in a statement to Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Watan he was ready to receive the Kuwaiti lawyers, and that he had already asked the head of Cairo Appeal Court to grant him permits for them to join the team.

Meanwhile the head of the proposed Kuwaiti defense team, Faisal al-Otaiby, told Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Ra'iy that Abdel Razek asked him to join the Egyptian defense team, but had not yet confirmed receiving the necessary permits.

Otaiby said Abdel Razek assured him that he has begun the procedures required for the Kuwaiti lawyers to join the defense team, including providing protection and hotel reservations, adding once he receives the permits he will ask the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry to provide security for him and the other Kuwaiti lawyers in Egypt, and then head to Egypt.

Otaiby said the Kuwaiti lawyers volunteered to defend Mubarak only as a gesture of gratitude for Mubarak's support in liberating Kuwait during the war with Iraq. He said he is with the Egyptian people in all their decisions, and has nothing to do with Egyptian political affairs.

"We extend condolences to the families of martyrs, and we pray for the wounded to make a speedy recovery," said Otaiby.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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