CAPE TOWN, South Africa (Feb. 24)
The Supreme Court here granted a temporary injunction today against the Standard Bank of Cape Town, freezing securities held by the bank for the National Bank of Egypt which a Jewish couple claims were confiscated from them by the Egyptian Government. In a petition filed in the Supreme Court here, Eli Leon Gani and his wife, Narguerite, who emigrated from Egypt to France in 1964, asked to be declared the owners of the stock in a number of South African companies.
Mr. Gani, who resides temporarily in London, declared in an affidavit that, in 1956, after the start of the Sinai campaign, under the threat of imprisonment, he was forced to sign documents transferring the stocks to the Egyptian Government, which immediately transferred the shares from Barclays Bank here to the Standard Bank in Cape Town, where they have remained since; Mr. Gani, who was a Greek citizen although born in Cairo, said that, after leaving Egypt, he filed claims through the Greek consulate in the Egyptian capital for the stocks and other properties confiscated by the Cairo Government.
The case has aroused widespread interest in legal circles here because it concerns principles of international law with respect to confiscation of property on the basis of religious discrimination. David Cohen, attorney for the Ganis, cited cases in England where British courts had refused to recognize confiscations by the Nazis of property belonging to Jews. After granting the temporary injunction, barring the withdrawal of the securities by the Egyptian National Bank, Justice Watermeyer postponed further hearings on the case until April 27.