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Justice ministry, legal specialists at odds again.

CAIRO: Despite suspending their three-month-long sit-in, legal specialists are still at odds with the Minister of Justice, with each side giving conflicting accounts of the crisis.

Minister of Justice Mamdouh Marei said certain political streams influenced the legal specialists' crisis, but maintained that their demands were always on the top of his list.

"I have met with the specialists in April and agreed that a new draft law will be presented to the ministry for revision before presenting it to the parliament but then I was surprised by more demands that we never discussed before," Marei told reporters.

Specialists staged three-month long strikes, demanding the cancellation of periodic book number eight which allows them to examine case files only inside the courtroom and obligatory appointment at courtrooms.

They were also calling for an amendment to Law 96/1952 as well as better pay and work conditions.

Marei said that Article 138 of the verification law was activated -- obliging specialists to obtain only a copy of the original case documents -- after the ministry received several complaints of lost documents.

However, specialists denied the minister's claims in an official statement saying the verification law did not include an article pertaining to obtaining a copy of the original documents in the first place.

Specialists were also disgruntled at obligatory courtroom appointments, saying this will make them under the court's supervision rather than the specialists sector.

Marei on the other hand said specialists will still be supervised by the specialists sector, rather than the court. He added that they will be appointed to the preliminary court headquarters only for cases that need quick assessments.

However, specialists maintain that the obligatory appointment decision didn't include anything about specialists' affiliation to their sector.

"Both decision are unconstitutional as they aren't in line with Article 155 of the verification law," the specialists' statement said.

"We aren't influenced by any political group and we aren't opposing the minister but [we are opposing] the illegal and unconstitutional decisions," the statement added.

The legislative committee at the People's Assembly was set to discuss specialists' demands and issue its final decision by the end of this week.

"Some preliminary courts started sending copies of case documents this week which is a good sign that a resolution may be reached very soon," Mohamed Daher Hussein, head of legal specialists club, told Daily News Egypt.

Daily NewsEgypt 2009

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Publication:Daily News Egypt (Egypt)
Date:Sep 29, 2009
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