Egyptian court cancels sentence for Jewish leader

82-year-old Carmen Weinstein spared prison after judge accepts claims she was not given the chance to defend herself.

By GIL STERN STERN SHEFLER
November 30, 2010 22:17
1 minute read.
Carmen Weinstein

Carmen Weinstein 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

An Egyptian court has rescinded the conviction of the head of the local Jewish community for fraud, it emerged Tuesday.

Earlier this month a local judge annulled the trial against Carmen Weinstein, the leader of the tiny Jewish community, on grounds that she was unable to defend herself in court, said Michelle Mazel, wife of the former Israeli ambassador to Cairo and a friend of Weinstein. The judge accepted her claim that she did not receive a summons.

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"The threat of imprisonment has been lifted," Mazel said. "Everybody knows where she lives but they sent the summons to an abandoned building and then tried her without her being able to defend herself."

"The threat of imprisonment has been lifted," Mazel said. "Everybody knows where Weinstin, but they sent the summons to an abandoned building and then tried her without her being able to defense herself." It remains to be seen whether the plaintiff will resubmit charges against Weinstein.

Last July an Egyptian court sentenced the octogenerian leader of the Jewish community in absentia to three years of imprisonment for fraud.

According to the charges, Weinstein knowingly sold the complainant land she was not the owner of and refused to return the money.
 

In her appeal, Weinstein denied allegations against her and said she was not notified that she had been charged with wrongdoing.

Meanwhile, reports generated by Egyptian media alleged that she had fled Egypt to avoid serving time in jail. Weinstein refused to speak to media leading to speculation as to her whereabouts.

On Tuesday Mazel said Weinstein had never left the country since the start of the court procedures.

"The lady is 80 and she can't go anywhere unaided," Mazel said.


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