Saadeddin Ibrahim acquitted by Egyptian court
An Egyptian court acquitted U.S.-Egyptian rights activist Saadeddin Ibrahim on Tuesday after his second retrial in a case that has strained ties between Cairo and Washington.
Charges against Ibrahim had included defaming Egypt and illegally accepting and misusing European Commission funds. He was freed in December after being sentenced in July to seven years in prison following his first retrial.
Ibrahim's daughter Randa said the acquittal had exceeded her expectations.
"A complete acquittal is really a vindication of my father and his work and a signal to everyone out there that justice is alive and well in Egypt," she said, according to Reuters.
Egypt's highest appeals court, where the trial was conducted, had overturned two previous state security court convictions against Ibrahim on procedural grounds and ordered retrials.
Ibrahim, a 64-year-old sociology professor who suffers from a neurological disorder, ran the now-closed Ibn Khaldoun Center for Development Studies, which sought to promote democracy and civil rights.
Ibrahim has been charged with receiving millions of dollars from foreign sources with the aim of conducting research to tarnish the image of Egypt. Among the list of charges is the production of a documentary film mocking the symbols of the regime in Egypt. He is also charged with receiving funds from foreign countries to produce reports on the internal situation of Egypt and other Arab countries, among them Morocco and Tunisa.
Washington had protested against Ibrahim's conviction. The European Union also condemned the charges against him. Three people who were charged with Ibrahim were also acquitted by the court on Tuesday. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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