Egypt lawyers claim government meddling in case over islands

Egyptian lawyers opposed to the government's decision to hand over two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia are accusing authorities of meddling in court proceedings over the case.

The islands' controversy has sparked large street protests. A lower tribunal struck down the handover deal but the government appealed that decision.

The lawyers submitted a seven-page motion asking the court's judges to recuse themselves, citing "unprecedented speed" with which a date was set for the ruling on the appeal.

They also cited a Cabinet minister's call for a verdict within a week, and an "unjustified" meeting between the court's president and a top defense ministry official.

The court is to rule July 3 on the lawyers' motion, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press on Monday.