Salafist preacher Abu-Ismail given 7 years in jail for forging his mother's nationality


Cairo's Criminal Court on Wednesday sentenced Salafist preacher Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail to seven years in prison for forging documents related to his mother's nationality.

The incident for which Abu-Ismail was convicted took place during the 2012 presidential elections, when he submitted official candidacy forms to the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission (SPEC) claiming that his mother was Egyptian.

The influential preacher, known for his close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, was disqualified from the presidential race after reports emerged that his mother held a US passport.

Egypt law dictates that presidential candidates and their parents must hold only Egyptian nationality.

Wednesday's verdict was based on witness testimonies from a representative of Egypt's foreign ministry and an officer in the police's anti-counterfeiting department.

During his trial, Abu-Ismail was twice given a one-year prison sentence for insulting the judiciary – once in January and another just last week.

Abu-Ismail was detained in July 2013 during the crackdown on Islamists following the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi that same month.

He was also charged with inciting violence that led to the death of nine protesters in Giza.