Egyptian court upholds pro-Sisi anchorman’s jail sentence
An Egyptian court on Tuesday upheld a jail sentence and fine against an Egyptian anchorman well-known for his support of the current government of Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi.
TV Talk show host on Sada al-Balad satellite station Ahmad Moussa was sentenced to two years in prison and fined 20,000 Egyptian pounds ($2,620) for allegedly defaming Osama al-Ghazali, head of the Democratic Front party. He accused Ghazali while on air of “working against the state”.
The anchorman, considered by many to be a government propagandist, did not make an appearance in court during the appeal.
Moussa is being represented by ousted president Hosni Mubarak’s lawyer Fareed al-Deeb, who successfuly defended the former dictator against charges of profiteering, economic fraud and killing of demonstrators.
Despite this most recent sentence, Moussa appeared on his talk show Tuesday night, tweeting beforehand: “If everyone in world tried to keep me from appearing on TV today, they couldn’t. Unless God wants it, I will never stop.”
This is not the first time Moussa has found himself in trouble with Egyptian authorties: he is also being retried fo claiming that Hesham Genena, the Chairman of the Central Auditing Organization, was a member of the banned Muslim Brotherhood.
Last year he was sentenced to six months in prison and fined for defaming the lawyer of the biggest fan group of the Zamalek football club.
He also was fined 15,000 ($1,965) pounds for defaming co-founder of the April 6 Youth Movement Israa Abd al-Fattah.
Many Egyptians took to social media to comment on Moussa's latest verdict Moussa, TV personality Youssef al-Husseiny sarcastically tweeted,
Translation: In a state ruled by law, I wonder if this ruling will be carried out in favor of Dr. Osama al-Ghazali and Ahmad Moussa will be arrested.
Amer Ahmad said,
Translation: My reaction when I see people using the hashtag Ahmad Moussa is a patriot: “Stop talking, as long as it’s come to this, stop talking.”
Twitter user @mrmr28Jan said,
Translation: Are they not going to take Ahmad Moussa from his house and when he resists arrest, they then ransack his house and they take his wife and kids off to state security like we have seen with all the other detainees?