Head of the Second Terrorism Circuit of the Giza Criminal Court
In 1976 Judge Moataz Mustafa Ahmed Khafagy started his career as a Public Prosecution Assistant for Maadi and Helwan districts in Cairo. He then rose in the judicial hierarchy to be a court's chief for two years before he returned to Maadi Prosecution, where he spent 11 years. Khafagy is currently a chief judge at the Giza Criminal Court.
Since the overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi in a popular-backed military coup, Khafagy has presided over various trials of dissidents, the Muslim Brotherhood's leadership, civil society activists and terrorism-related cases. Khafagy's most famous decisions were those imposing death sentences on 13 defendants in the case of Ajnad Misr (Egypt's Soldiers), designated by the U.S. in 2014 as a terrorist organization, and two defendants in the case of al-Warraq Cell.
Khafagy repeatedly extended the pretrial detentions of political detainees Walid Shawky, Ibrahim Ezz el-Din and Solafa Magdy Sallam, Haitham Mohamedain and Khaled Dawoud, even though no evidence was presented to establish any of the statutory conditions for pre-trial detention, as stipulated in Article 134 of Egypt's Code of Criminal Procedure. Khafagy ordered these detainees to remain in pretrial detention without providing reasons for his decision, as required by Egyptian domestic law and international standards of due process. In some instances, Khafagy extended pretrial detention without giving defendants or their lawyers a chance to be present and make arguments, in violation of Egyptian domestic law and international human rights law.
In the case of Dawoud, Khafagy extended his pre-trial detention for 45 days on May 5, 2020 and then again for 45 days on May 6, 2020, indicating disregard for the details of the case and the individual circumstances of the defendant. That prompted Dawoud's lawyer to submit Request No. 462 to the Supreme Judiciary Council (SJC) and Petition No. 20823 (petitions of the General Prosecutor) to the General Prosecutor Hamada al-Sawy, demanding that they nullify Khafagy's decision and release Dawoud.
DAWN requested a response from Judge Khafagy by writing to the Egyptian authorities, but has not received a response as of publication.