Egypt: Judges angry as Sisi’s brother gains influence

Discontent is swelling among high-ranking Egyptian judicial sources angry about the growing influence of Al-Sisi’s brother, Counselor Ahmed Al-Sisi, sources have told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

Ahmed Al-Sisi has played a central role in selecting the heads of judicial bodies, including the president of the Supreme Judicial Council and the president of the Court of Cassation.

According to the sources, Al-Sisi’s brother is responsible for the entire judicial system. The Judges Club tried to get him on board to convince the president to reverse a decision to stop tax breaks for judges.

In October Al-Sisi was accused of nepotism after he appointed Ahmed to head a new anti-terror unit with sweeping powers to investigate terrorists, particularly the bank accounts of people suspected of money laundering or supporting terrorism.

Critics pointed out it was likely the body would be used to target opponents of the regime, in particular members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which was designated a terror organisation not long after it was ousted from power.

Al-Sisi is expanding his family’s influence in the country – at the end of September his eldest son Mahmoud launched a plan to thwart protests against his father’s rule after Egyptians took to the streets in response to a call by the exiled army contractor Mohamed Ali.

Mahmoud holds a senior position in the General Intelligence Service. In September Sinai writer and politician Massaad Abu Fager accused Mahmoud of running a $45 million drug operation through the Gaza-Sinai tunnels.

Corruption and nepotism under ousted President Hosni Mubarak were one of the key issues driving the 2011 uprising.