Tanta lawyers charged with court assault get lighter sentence

Tanta–An Egyptian court issued today what it described as a lighter ruling against the two lawyers convicted of assault on a Tanta prosecution head.

The lawyers appealed the original sentence of five years incarceration and an LE300 fine issued in June. Judicial sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm the Tanta Appeals Court of Misdemeanor has sentenced the lawyers to a reduced prison sentence of two years and three months but increased the fine to LE3000 each.

The assault incident occurred on 6 June when the Tanta prosecutor slapped a lawyer in the face and the lawyer and one of his colleagues proceeded to beat the prosecution head.

The earlier ruling provoked the ire of thousands of lawyers who took to the streets in protest of a ruling they deemed biased. At the time, the lawyers protested the ruling particularly since it was issued quickly when trials typically take months.

Independent observers say the lawyers' anger may be caused by police and judicial mistreatment. Lawyers also complain that priority is given to policemen and the sons of judges in appointments to senior positions in the prosecution and judiciary.

President Mubarak refused to intervene in the dispute–reticence many see as a victory for the judges.

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