Cairo court fires were deliberate: Senior judge

Friday 05-04-2013 01:30 PM
Cairo court fires were deliberate: Senior judge

Civil defense forces succeeded on Thursday to put a fire that broke out this morning at a South Cairo court, reported the state news agency MENA. April 4, 2013. Hussein Mohamed/Aswat Masriya


A number of recent fires at court buildings in Cairo were started deliberately to destroy evidence against Mubarak regime officials, a senior appeal court judge has claimed.

"I definitely believe these repeated arsons attacks are planned. They always occur in the archive sections where evidence in important trials is being held. And not only those concerning the revolution, but also major tax-fraud trials," Judge Ashraf Nada said on Thursday in an interview on private satellite channel Sada El-Balad.

Nada claimed documents in corruption trials involving Mubarak-era strongman Safwat El-Sherif and Mubarak's daughter-in-law Heidi Rasekh were kept in the South Cairo Criminal Court archive that was damaged by fire on Thursday.

The fire broke out in the prosecution offices at the court in Bab El-Khalq early on Thursday morning. Fire fighters extinguished the fire after it had been raging for five hours.

Nada criticised the interior and justice ministers for failing to protect the court.

"The court is just metres away from the Cairo security directorate HQ, which is responsible for securing the whole city. The justice minister has failed to maintain appropriate security standards at the court for years," he said.

A number of key government and court buildings have been damaged by fire since the January 25 uprising.

Most recently, a fire erupted at the Administrative Control Authority (ACA) headquarters in Cairo's Nasr City on 11 March.

The ACA is the main watchdog of the Egyptian government, responsible for tackling government corruption and monitoring its performance. The building is thought to contain critical documents related to major corruption cases.

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