x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Criminal case brought against Egyptian politician over anti-UAE comments

The Emirates Association for Lawyers announced yesterday it would be filing a case with the UAE public prosecutor in Abu Dhabi against Essam El Erian.

SHARJAH // The Emirates Association for Lawyers will today file a criminal case against a prominent Egyptian politician over anti-UAE comments.

The association announced yesterday it would be filing a case with the UAE public prosecutor in Abu Dhabi against Essam El Erian.

Mr El Erian, the vice chairman of Egypt's ruling Freedom and Justice Party, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, and senior member of the Shura Council, the upper house of the Egyptian parliament, said Cairo had "lost its patience" over 11 Egyptians detained "in a disgraceful and illegal manner" in the UAE since December, who are under investigation for allegedly threatening the UAE's national security.

He also told Egypt's deputy foreign minister to "Tell [the UAE] that nuclear Iran is coming ... The Persians are coming, not the Egyptians, and you will become slaves of the Persians".

If a case against Mr El Erian is proved, he could be summoned through diplomatic channels to appear in court.

If he fails to appear he could be tried in his absence.

Mr El Erian's comments, made last month, have since been disowned by the Egyptian government.

Saeed Al Dhuhr, the association's branch manager in Fujairah, said once the case is filed with the general public prosecutor they would also be seeking the intervention of Interpol.

Mr Al Shamsi said the statements made by Mr Al Erian were derogatory and with no basis or evidence, and his remarks about Iran were dangerous to the security and safety of the country.

The association decided to open the criminal case "because such statements were dangerous to the cordial relationships between UAE citizens and their Egyptian brothers," said Zayed Saeed Saif Al Shamsi, the chairman of the board at the association.

Mohammed Ahmed Al Hadrami, the director of legal affairs at the association, said: "The relationship between the UAE and Egypt is strong and historical. It's unacceptable to the people of the UAE and their brothers of Egypt for anyone to spoil this cordial relationship with careless statements."

ykakande@thenational.ae