BRUSSELS,(Reuters) – The EU said a jail term given to Egyptian opposition politician and former presidential candidate Ayman Nour put into question the country”s commitment to democratic reforms.
Nour, leader of the liberal Ghad (Tomorrow) Party and the main challenger to President Hosni Mubarak in the September elections, was sentenced to five years in jail on forgery charges last week and plans to appeal the ruling.
"This verdict sends negative signals about democratic political reform in Egypt. The EU expects that any appeal application by Nour will be looked at fairly by the Egyptian courts," Britain, which holds the European Union”s rotating presidency, said in a statement late on Tuesday.
The EU”s reaction was more muted than that of the United States, which has called on Egypt to free Nour.
Nour has said his trial was an attempt to remove him from politics.