By EIPR –
On the 22nd of February, Patrick Zaki stood before Mansoura II Prosecution for a scheduled hearing on the state of his detention. The Prosecution ultimately decided for the renewal of Patrick’s detention for 15 further days pending investigation in the administrative case 7245/2019. The Public Prosecution had initially ordered his custody for 15 days on the 8th of February, and an appeal panel looking into request to reverse this decision and release him had previously rejected the appeal last Saturday the 15th.
Patrick’s lawyers argued again today for his release on the basis of procedural irregularities in the process of his arrest and detention, recalling that he was stopped in Cairo Airport on the 7th of February and illegally detained in a National Security facility and only appeared before a prosecutor late in the afternoon of the 8th February. He was not taken to the relevant prosecutor considering his place of arrest (Cairo Airport) but was moved to Mansoura and appeared before the Mansoura II prosecution office, where he was presented with a police report that falsely refers to his arrest in a checkpoint in Mansoura. Moreover, Patrick was tortured during his illegal detention — an experience that he relayed in detail the first time he stood before a prosecutor and that he relayed again to the judiciary panel that was looking into his detention appeal on the 15th — and questioned about issues that are not related to the accusations levelled against him by the prosecution. EIPR’s lawyers had filed two petitions to the Chief Public Prosecutor to investigate the falsification of Patrick’s arrest report and the torture and physical assault on Patrick, the prosecutor noted the submissions (Public Prosecution Petitions No. 9943 and 9944 /2020) today during the hearing.
Patrick’s lawyers requested his release from detention on account of procedural irregularities, the dearth of evidence against him and on account of the fact that he has a known and reachable address and is unable to tamper with case evidence if there was any.
EIPR asks the Public Prosecutor to release Patrick George Zaki immediately, and the investigative authorities to close the investigation and dismiss the case, for we do not see any basis for criminal prosecution. We also reinstate the points and demands outlined in the press release dated February 20: the Public Prosecutor has the power to release any person involved in any investigation without condition “at any time with or without bail” according to Art 204 of the Criminal Procedure Code – it is obviously under no obligation to adhere to the time frames initially set by detention decisions that are intended to set upper limits for custody. The investigative judge or the prosecution when in charge of an investigation has the powers to release anyone from temporary custody, for the existence of causes for remand detention in itself does not necessitate detention; according to the Chief Public Prosecutor’s guidelines. Notwithstanding the fact that in this case these causes do not exist, as explained above and argued by Patrick’s defence before the prosecutor.