The General Prosecution released on Wednesday the prominent lawyer and activist Khaled Ali with a bail of EGP 1,000, said one of Ali’s representatives, lawyer Malek Adly.
Adly told Daily News Egypt that neither Ali nor the other lawyers defending him were allowed to read the memo of the lawsuit throughout the investigations, thus they did not know what the accusations.
He also added that Ali was detained for more than the legal detention period, as the investigations started at 12 PM on Tuesday.
A state-owned broadcaster reported on Wednesday that Ali was investigated on Tuesday in a lawsuit that prominent lawyer Samir Sabry filed against him. He mentioned in the lawsuit that Ali’s act took place when security forces were securing the State Council headquarters on the day of the verdict of the case known as “Red Sea islands” case.
A photograph of Ali making an inappropriate gesture was circulated on social media, which one local news outlet reported to be just a “coincidence” that the photographer captured while Ali was cheering with the crowd after a court announced that the two islands were Egyptian.
In 2016, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi signed with Saudi King Salman an Egyptian-Saudi maritime demarcation deal, which stipulated that the two islands were Saudi rather than Egyptian.
Ali is one of the lawyers in the “Red Sea islands” case in opposition to the government’s stance, and he presented several documents to prove that the two islands were Egyptian.
Disputes over the islands’ owner is still ongoing in Egyptian courts.
63 lawyers were reportedly representing Ali during the investigations, in addition to a number of activists and public figures who were present in the court to express solidarity with Ali, including former head of Egypt’s Accountability State Authority and leaders of political opposition parties in Egypt, according to local media.
Ali ran in the 2012 presidential election and is a potential candidate for 2018, as he recently mentioned in a televised interview that he was still considering running.
He is also widely known for advocating labour rights and fighting corruption.
A campaign titled “Defending Lawyers” announced on Tuesday its solidarity with Ali and condemned Sabry for filing the lawsuit, adding that “he [Sabry] is used to filing lawsuits against his colleagues, and we consider him a bad example for lawyers,” according to their press statement.
Sabry has filed several lawsuits over the years that have stirred controversy, including one to change the name of a metro station that was named “Mubarak” in reference to ousted president Mohamed Hosni Mubarak, among other lawsuits against politicians and public figures.