The ongoing social media campaign by users against controversial judge Nagy Shehata has been continuously gaining ground, calling on his suspension due to his increasingly politicised verdicts.
Shehata drew backlash following his statements to local newspaper Al-Watan, published mid-December 2015, in which he described the 25 January Revolution as a “loss” and said it destroyed morals. He denied such statements later, and that he had been interviewed by Al-Watan in the first place, in a phone interview with a TV channel. He further demanded that Al-Watan publish a retraction of the aforementioned interview.
In response, Al-Watan published a recorded audio, attributed it to Shehata, whose voice is purportedly heard during the interview. His answers on the recorded audio were identical to what has said in the published interview. He then similarly condemned the recorded audio, which was published in several parts.
The “Stop Nagy Shehata” hashtag managed to gather dozens of encounters from lawyers, political activists, and defendants who had been tried by the judge, narrating their experiences and calling for his suspension, while some posts were more sarcastic.
Lawyers have also relied on the leaked audio recorded from Al-Watan interview. Defence lawyer for Ramy Al-Sayed, who received a life sentence in absentia by Nagy Shehata in an illegal protesting trial, requested Monday that the court replace Shehata in the retrial and that the session be adjourned until then.
The defendant was accused of joining protests and being a 6 April movement member, which Shehata described in his interview as an “evil” movement. The lawyer considered this, in his request, as an explicit prejudice on the verdict from court’s side.
Often dubbed as the “executions judge”, Shehata has rejected several demands made by the defence team throughout many trial sessions and arrested several lawyers.
The court did not allow the defence to bring forth the witnesses nor did he allow the incorporation of copies of documents to the case file.