Several Muslim Brotherhood defendants have received sentences ranging from 24 hours to three years in prison, over charges for contempt of court. Egypt Today gives an overview of the charge.
The most recent penalty for contempt of court was imposed on Mohammed El-Beltagy, who was sentenced for a year for the contempt of court while the court was considering his charges in the well-known case of breaking into the eastern border.
The court usually uses Article 244 of the criminal law measures to file a suit against El-Beltagy, stipulating that if any violations or discourteousness have been committed in the court hearing, the court shall immediately file a suit against the defendant and shall sentence it after hearing his lawyer and the prosecution.
Under the law, the defendant charged of court contempt shall face sentences ranging from 24 hours in prison to three years, and the head of court uses Article 184 of the Penal Code to identify which penalty to impose on the defendants if any actions were committed to insult or undermine the court, Parliament, army and any other authorities. Under Article 184, he shall be punished with prison or fines.
Muslim Brotherhood members who were sentenced with charges of contempt of court include President Mohamed Morsi and 18 co-defendants.
According to the prosecution investigations, the convicts faced charges of insulting the judges and the judicial authority with their comments and speeches to media outlets; such comments and speeches carried insulting innuendos against the judicial authority.
The investigations stated that Morsi, during his televised presidential speech on June 23, 2013, insulted Judge Ali Mohamed Ahmed al-Nemr, describing him as “an impartial judge”. Nemr was the presiding judge of a Cairo Criminal Court, which acquitted Alaa and Gamal Mubarak, sons of former President Hosni Mubarak, along with former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, over charges of corruption in the case known as “The Pilots’ Land” on December 19, 2013. He was also one of the supervisory judges during the 2005 Presidential Elections.
Egypt’s Court of Cassation has overturned the one-year prison sentence against a nephew of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi over charges of “contempt of court” on February 8.
Furthermore, the court sent the conservative Islamist Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail to prison for insulting the judiciary during his trial.