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Egyptian Court Delays Retrial of Professor - 2002-01-16

Egypt's highest appeals court has delayed a decision on retrial for an Egyptian-American professor convicted of "tarnishing" Egypt with his research on democracy in that country.

The Court of Cassation has postponed without explanation a ruling on the appeal of Saad Eddin Ibrahim until February 6. This is the second time the court has put off action on his case.

Mr. Ibrahim was sentenced last May to seven years in prison on charges that included accepting foreign funding without government permission for his private "think tank," the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development. He was also convicted of fraud and spreading false information. 27 employees of the center were convicted on related charges and are appealing their prison sentences.

The Ibn Khaldun Center monitored Egypt's parliamentary elections and issued reports on relations between the country's Muslims and Christians.

Mr. Ibrahim's arrest and conviction has drawn strong criticism from international human rights groups. Human Rights Watch says the trial was unfair and filled with irregularities.