[JURIST] Ayman Nour [BBC profile], the Egyptian opposition leader jailed [JURIST report] for forgery after his unsuccessful campaign last year, has filed an appeal and requested a suspension of his five-year sentence until the appeals court can rule on the matter, his lawyers said Monday. In his appeal, Nour's lawyers argue that he was denied due process under Egyptian law because his conviction was the result of the political ambitions of his rivals and others who disagree with his views on Egyptian politics. Nour's arrest and conviction [JURIST report], for forging signatures on registration materials prior to the elections, came less than five months after his loss to longtime Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak [official website].
The ordeal strained Egypt's relations with the US, causing US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice [official website] to cancel an official visit because the conviction was inconsistent with Mubarak's assurances [press release] to open his country's political system. AP has more.