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November 5, 2012

Coptic Christians select their 118th pope

Coptic Christians select their 118th pope

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Monday, November 5, 2012

Shrine of St. Athanasius in St Mark’s Cathedral, Cairo.
Image: Kyrillos2.

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Yesterday, the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt selected the 60-year-old Bishop Tawadros from Beheira in the Nile Delta as the new leader of the church in a ceremony held at St Mark’s Cathedral in Cairo. The ceremony which selected Tawadros consisted of an altar boy wearing a blindfold picking one of three names from a chalice.

The election process follows the death in March of the previous leader, Pope Shenouda III. Tawadros will formally take his position as pope on November 18.

The Coptic Orthodox Church represents six to ten percent of the 83 million people of Egypt and is the largest Christian community in the Middle East. Following the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak and the election of the Muslim Brotherhood there have been a number of violent attacks on Copts as well as complaints of discrimination.



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  • “Funeral for Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria held in Cairo” — Wikinews, March 20, 2012

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June 4, 2012

Mubarak sentenced to life in prison over protester deaths

Mubarak sentenced to life in prison over protester deaths

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Monday, June 4, 2012

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Former president Hosni Mubarak was the leader of Egypt for around 30 years.
Image: onbekend.

Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has been sentenced to life imprisonment by a court in Egypt for his responsibility as leader in the murders of protesters during the last year’s Egyptian revolution.

Mubarak resigned from his presidential position in February 2011 as a result of the widespread protests. He has been hospitalized in Egypt’s International Medical Center since the start of his trial due to bad health; and is the first Arab world leader, since the Arab Spring began over a year ago, prosecuted while in custody.

Habib el-Adly, who was Mubarak’s interior minister, was also given life for the same type of offense. Four highly-placed government workers from the interior ministry in charge of security — including former Deputy Interior Minister Hassan Abd El Rahman — and two regional security directors were cleared of any wrongdoing. The former president’s sons Alaa and Gamal Mubarak were found not guilty on corruption charges.

People in Egypt both celebrated the convictions and protested the acquittals. Protests occurred throughout the country in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, Suez, and Mansoura.

While Mubarak was transferred to the Tora prison hospital, independent lawyers said they expect an appeal, which would extend the trial. The trial has already gone on for ten months before the verdict.



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June 3, 2012

Mubarak jailed for life over protester deaths

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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Egypt
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  • 25 April 2012: Egypt cancels 15 year gas supply contract to Israel
  • 5 April 2012: Last Ottoman dies, aged 91
  • 20 March 2012: Funeral for Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria held in Cairo
  • 21 February 2012: Egyptian MP calls for web porn ban
  • 10 February 2012: Egypt struggles to recover tourism, investment
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Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has been sentenced to life imprisonment by a court in Egypt for his responsibility as leader in the murders of protesters during the Egyptian revolution of 2011. Mubarak resigned from his presidential position as a result of the widespread protests in February 2011. Mubarak, who has been hospitalized in Egypt’s International Medical Center since the start of his trial due to bad health, is the first Arab world leader to be prosecuted since the commencement of the Arab Spring over a year ago.

Habib el-Adly, who was Mubarak’s interior minister, was also given life for the same type of offense. Four highly placed government workers from the interior ministry in charge of security — including former Deputy Interior Minister Hassan Abd El Rahman — and two regional security directors were also cleared of any wrongdoing. The former president’s sons Alaa and Gamal Mubarak were found not guilty on corruption charges.

The people of Egypt both celebrated the convictions and protested the court’s decision to acquit others. Protests occurred throughout the country in Cairo‘s Tahrir Square, Suez and Mansoura.

While Mubarak was transferred to the Tora prison hospital, independent lawyers said they expected an appeal, which would extend the trial. The trial went on for ten months before the verdict.



Related news

  • “Egyptian politician ElBaradei says ousted President Mubarak must stand trial” — Wikinews, April 30, 2011
  • “Mubarak arrested in Egypt ahead of corruption probe” — Wikinews, April 13, 2011
  • “Mubarak summoned by Egyptian prosecutors to face allegations of killings and corruption” — Wikinews, April 10, 2011

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April 25, 2012

Egypt cancels 15 year gas supply contract to Israel

Egypt cancels 15 year gas supply contract to Israel

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

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  • 23 December 2014: Egypt opens Rafah border crossing for additional day
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According to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the termination of a natural gas contract between Egypt and Israel is a business matter and not a political issue between the two counties. Netanyahu’s statement on Monday backs away from other officials’ earlier responses to the action.

Egyptian Natural Gas Company announced Sunday, April 22 that it will stop supplying Israel with natural gas over a disagreement about payments. The company’s leader claims the other side is in “breach of contract” as Gasco has not been paid for what has already been delivered.

In 2005, Israel and Egypt, under former president Hosni Mubarak, signed a 15-year trade deal whereby Egypt would supply natual gas at a discounted rate to the Israelis. Tensions between the two countries have made Israel cautious about relying on Egypt for its energy. Since the 2011 Egyptian revolution, the pipelines for transporting natural gas from Egypt to Israel have been damaged up to 14 times.

When this decision was broadcast on Sunday night in Egypt, commentators for Egyptian news services discussed whether this decision was a blatant contractual infringement, a necessary commercial move, or an attack on the original peace treaty between Egypt and Israel made at Camp David in 1978.

In Israel, Yuval Steinitz, the finance minister, said, “This is a dangerous precedent that diminishes the peace treaty [between the two countries].”

Avigdor Lieberman, foreign affairs minister, had called on Egypt to reverse the decision and prevent the contractual dispute from escalating into a political issue. Since Netanyahu’s more recent comment, Lieberman has also backed away from characterizing the issue as a political dispute.

Egypt’s natural gas exports once made up 40 percent of Israel’s natural gas reserves, but Israel has looked for other options as the political atmosphere in Egypt changed. Israel is developing its own offshore fields, and it has begun to import other types of “dirty fuels,” like gas and diesel. As a result, Israeli consumers have seen a nine percent increase in electricity costs and Israel is preparing for the possibility of blackouts.



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January 25, 2012

One year on: Egyptians mark anniversary of protests that toppled Mubarak

One year on: Egyptians mark anniversary of protests that toppled Mubarak

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

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Across Egypt hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets for the day, marking exactly one year since the outbreak of protests leading to 83-year-old longstanding ruler Hosni Mubarak’s downfall. The country’s decades-long emergency rule was partially lifted this week; meanwhile, a possible economic meltdown looms and a newly-elected parliament held their first meeting on Monday.

Protestors in Tahrir Square during the revolution.
Image: Jonathan Rashad.

Protestors in Tahrir Square today.
Image: Gigi Ibrahim.

Despite the new parliament, military rule introduced following Mubarak’s fall last spring remains. Echoing the demands from a year ago, some protesters are demanding the military relinquish power; there are doubts an elected civilian leader will be permitted to replace the army.

The brief unity against Mubarak has since fragmented, with Secularists and Islamists marking the revolution’s anniversary splitting to opposing sides of Cairo’s famed Tahrir Square and chanting at each other. Initial demonstrations last year were mainly from young secularists; now, Islamic parties hold most of the new parliament’s seats — the country’s first democratic one in six decades.

Salafis hold 25% of the seats and 47% are held by the Muslim Brotherhood, which brought supporters to Cairo for the anniversary. Tahrir Square alone contained tens of thousands of people, some witnesses putting the crowd at 150,000 strong. It’s the largest number on the streets since the revolution.

Military rulers planned celebrations including pyrotechnics, commemorative coins, and air displays. The Supreme Council of Armed Forces took power after last year’s February 11 resignation of Mubarak.

Alaa al-Aswani, a pro-democracy activist writing in al-Masry al-Youm, said: “We must take to the streets on Wednesday, not to celebrate a revolution which has not achieved its goals, but to demonstrate peacefully our determination to achieve the objectives of the revolution,” — to “live in dignity, bring about justice, try the killers of the martyrs and achieve a minimum social justice”

Alexandria in the north and the eastern port city of Suez also saw large gatherings. It was bitter fighting in Suez led to the first of the revolution’s 850 casualties in ousting Mubarak. “We didn’t come out to celebrate. We came out to protest against the military council and to tell it to leave power immediately and hand over power to civilians,” said protestor Mohamed Ismail.

“Martyrs, sleep and rest. We will complete the struggle,” chanted crowds in Alexandria, a reference to the 850 ‘martyrs of the revolution’. No convictions are in yet although Mubarak is on trial. Photos of the dead were displayed in Tahrir Square. Young Tahrir chanters went with “Down with military rule” and “Revolution until victory, revolution in all of Egypt’s streets”.

If the protestors demanding the military leave power get their way, the Islamists celebrating election victory face a variety of challenges. For now, Field Marshall Mohamed Hussein Tantawi — whose career featured twenty years as defence minister under Mubarak — rules the nation and promises to cede power following presidential elections this year.

Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, pictured whilst he was still Mubarak’s defence minister, is now ruling the country.
Image: Helene C. Stikke, US DoD.

The economy is troubled and unemployment is up since Mubarak left. With tourism and foreign investment greatly lower than usual, budget and payment deficits are up — with the Central Bank eating into its reserves in a bid to keep the Egyptian pound from losing too much value.

Last week the nation sought US$3.2 billion from the International Monetary Fund. The IMF insists upon funding also being secured from other donors, and strong support from Egypt’s leaders. IMF estimates say the money could be handed over in a few months — whereas Egypt wanted it in a matter of weeks.

The country has managed to bolster trade with the United States and Jordan. Amr Abul Ata, Egyptian ambassador to the fellow Middle-East state, told The Jordan Times in an interview for the anniversary that trade between the nations increased in 2011, and he expects another increase this year. This despite insurgent attacks reducing Egyptian gas production — alongside electricity the main export to Jordan. Jordan exports foodstuffs to Egypt and has just signed a deal increasing the prices it pays for gas. 2011 trade between the countries was worth US$1 billion.

The anniversary also saw a new trade deal with the US, signed by foreign trade and industry minister Mahmoud Eisa and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk. President Barack Obama promises work to improve U.S. investment in, and trade with, nations changing political systems after the Arab Spring. Details remain to be agreed, but various proposals include US assistance for Egyptian small and medium enterprises. Both nations intend subjecting plans to ministerial scrutiny.

The U.S. hailed “several historic milestones in its transition to democracy” within a matter of days of Egypt’s revolution. This despite U.S.-Egypt ties being close during Mubarak’s rule.

US$1 billion in grants has been received already from Qatar and Saudi Arabia but army rulers refused to take loans from Gulf nations despite offers-in-principle coming from nations including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates. Foreign aid has trickled in; no money at all has been sent from G8 nations, despite the G8 Deauville Partnership earmarking US$20 billion for Arab Spring nations.

A total of US$7 billion was promised from the Gulf. The United Kingdom pledged to split £110 million between Egypt and Arab Spring initiator Tunisia. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development says G8 money should start arriving in June, when the presidential election is scheduled.

The African Development Bank approved US$1.5 billion in loans whilst Mubarak still held power but, despite discussions since last March, no further funding has been agreed. The IMF offered a cheap loan six months ago, but was turned away. Foreign investment last year fell from US$6 billion to $375 million.

Rights, justice and public order remain contentious issues. Tantawi lifted the state of emergency on Tuesday, a day before the revolution’s anniversary, but left it in place to deal with the exception of ‘thuggery’. “This is not a real cancellation of the state of emergency,” said Islamist Wasat Party MP Essam Sultan. “The proper law designates the ending of the state of emergency completely or enforcing it completely, nothing in between.”

One year after the protests that led to his loss of power, Hosni Mubarak faces death if convicted of killing those protesting against him.
Image: 2008 World Economic Forum.

The same day, Amnesty International released a report on its efforts to establish basic human rights and end the death penalty in the country. Despite sending a ten-point manifesto to all 54 political parties, only the Egyptian Social Democratic Party (of the Egyptian Bloc liberals) and the left-wing Popular Socialist Alliance Party signed up. Measures included religious freedom, help to the impoverished, and rights for women. Elections did see a handful of women win seats in the new parliament.

The largest parliamentary group is the Freedom and Justice Party of the Muslim Brotherhood, who Amnesty say did not respond. Oral assurances on all but female rights and abolition of the death penalty were given by Al-Nour, the Salafist runners-up in the elections, but no written declaration or signature.

“We challenge the new parliament to use the opportunity of drafting the new constitution to guarantee all of these rights for all people in Egypt. The cornerstone must be non-discrimination and gender equality,” said Amnesty, noting that the first seven points were less contentious amongst the twelve responding parties. There was general agreement for free speech, free assembly, fair trials, investigating Mubarak’s 30-year rule for atrocities, and lifting the state of emergency. A more mixed response was given to ensuring no discrimination against LGBT individuals, whilst two parties claimed reports of Coptic Christian persecution are exaggerated.

Mubarak himself is a prominent contender for the death penalty, currently on trial for the killings of protesters. The five-man prosecution team are also seeking death for six senior police officers and the chief of security in the same case. Corruption offences are also being tried, with Gamal Mubarak and Alaa Mubarak accused alongside their father Hosni.

The prosecution case has been hampered by changes in witness testimony and there are complaints of Interior Ministry obstruction in producing evidence. Tantawi has testified in a closed hearing that Mubarak never ordered protesters shot.

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Hisham Talaat Moustafa, an ex-MP and real estate billionaire, is another death penalty candidate. He, alongside Ahmed Sukkari, was initially sentenced to death for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Lebanese pop star Suzanne Tamim. A new trial was granted on procedural grounds and he is now serving a fifteen-year term for paying Sukkari US$2 million to slit 30-year-old’s Tamim’s throat in Dubai. Her assassin was caught when police followed him back to his hotel and found a shirt stained with her blood; he was in custody within two hours of the murder.

The court of appeals is now set to hear another trial for both men after the convictions were once more ruled unsound.

A military crackdown took place last November, the morning after a major protest, and sparking off days of violence. Egypt was wary of a repeat this week, with police and military massed near Tahrir Square whilst volunteers manned checkpoints into the square itself.

The military has pardoned and released at least 2,000 prisoners jailed following military trials, prominently including a blogger imprisoned for defaming the army and deemed troublesome for supporting Israel. 26-year-old Maikel Nabil was given a three year sentence in April. He has been on hunger strike alleging abuse at the hands of his captors. He wants normalised relations with Israel. Thousands have now left Tora prison in Cairo.

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August 21, 2011

Egypt recalls envoy in Israel

Egypt recalls envoy in Israel – Wikinews, the free news source

Egypt recalls envoy in Israel

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

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  • 27 January 2015: Greek singer Demis Roussos dies aged 68
  • 23 December 2014: Egypt opens Rafah border crossing for additional day
  • 16 December 2014: Freighter hits fishing boat in Gulf of Suez; thirteen dead
  • 24 November 2014: Sisi: Egypt willing to send stabilizing forces to future Palestinian State
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Yasser Reda Ali Abdullah Said, the Egyptian ambassador in Israel, was recalled by the Egyptian government yesterday, who claim that the countries’ 1979 peace treaty had been breached by the killing of five Egyptian security personnel as Israeli forces pursued cross-border raiders.

Attacks inside Israel which killed eight Israelis led to what Reuters describes as the most acute crisis in ties between the countries since Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in February, with Egyptian troops being killed in a subsequent shootout between Israeli soldiers pursuing the militants along the Israeli-Egypt border.

The Egyptian cabinet, in an official statement, said that they laid “the political and legal responsibility for the incident, which constitutes a breach of the peace treaty” between the countries, on Israel. They also ordered foreign minister Mohamed Kamel Amr to summon the Israeli ambassador and demand an official condemnation from Israeli leaders for their statements accusing Egyptian military rulers of losing their grasp on the Sinai peninsula, a huge desert buffer zone between Egypt and Israel.

A few hundred Egyptians burned Israeli flags and tore down metal barriers, at the Israeli embassy in Cairo, demanding the expulsion of the Israeli envoy.

Cquote1.svg One thing is sure, there is not a single person in Israel who wants to harm an Egyptian policeman or soldier Cquote2.svg

—Amos Gilad on Kol Yisrael

“One thing is sure, there is not a single person in Israel who wants to harm an Egyptian policeman or soldier,” Amos Gilad, a liaison officer with the Palestinians and Egypt, said on Kol Yisrael.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu consulted cabinet ministers about a potential response.

The Egyptians had also recalled their ambassador in Tel Aviv on previous occasions, such as Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon and during the heavy Israeli shelling of the Gaza Strip in 2000.

“The cabinet committee has decided to withdraw the Egyptian ambassador in Israel until the result of investigations by the Israeli authorities is provided and an apology from the Israeli leadership over the hasty and regrettable statements about Egypt is given,” the cabinet statement said.

Citing concern about security in the Sinai Peninsula, the Israelis said the attackers infiltrated from the Gaza Strip, which is run by Hamas, through the Egypt-controlled Sinai Desert, despite Egyptian security’s attempts to find the Islamist radicals.

Cairo rejected the accusation which stated that it had lost control of Sinai. The cabinet’s decisions came after a meeting attended by generals in the army and Murad Muwafi, the Egyptian intelligence chief.

Cquote1.svg Egypt will take every precaution to secure its border with Israel to deter any infiltrators, and to respond to any Israeli military activity toward the Egyptian border. Cquote2.svg

—Egyptian cabinet statement

The cabinet statement also added that “Egypt will take every precaution to secure its border with Israel to deter any infiltrators, and to respond to any Israeli military activity toward the Egyptian border.”

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The peace treaty of 1979 limits the number of troops Egypt can deploy in the Sinai.

Emad Gad, senior researcher at Cairo’s Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, said that neither Egypt nor Israel was keen to escalate the issue further. “Withdrawing the Egyptian ambassador is a good step but Egypt still has to insist on a formal apology from Israel,” he added.

The Cairo-based Arab League will hold an urgent meeting on Sunday in order to discuss the Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip, following the attacks on Israel, that killed fifteen Palestinians.



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April 30, 2011

Egyptian politician ElBaradei says ousted President Mubarak must stand trial

Egyptian politician ElBaradei says ousted President Mubarak must stand trial

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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Egypt
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  • 27 January 2015: Greek singer Demis Roussos dies aged 68
  • 23 December 2014: Egypt opens Rafah border crossing for additional day
  • 16 December 2014: Freighter hits fishing boat in Gulf of Suez; thirteen dead
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Hosni Mubarak in Rome in 2009.
Image: Presidenza della Repubblica.

Egyptian politician Mohamed ElBaradei said that ousted President Hosni Mubarak must stand trial. His statement follows the recent ratification by Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil El Araby of a statute that ensures Egypt will join the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC). If ElBaradei assumes power in the coming October/November 2011 elections, Mubarak and other former high-ranking corrupt Egyptian officials could potentially be tried in The Hague.

In an interview with the Islam Times, ElBaradei cited reasons as to why the trial of Hosni Mubarak will be necessary to undertake if he chooses to run for Egypt’s top job. “Mubarak allegedly issued the order to shoot at the protesters. [That should] have been reason enough to arrest him immediately…The Military Council has no other option than to try Mubarak and bring everyone else to justice who is responsible for human rights violations or corruption,” he said.

ElBaradei’s previous statement to CNN during the 2011 Egyptian Revolution which began on the 25th of January, according to The Jerusalem Post, was that a trial was unnecessary and that what primarily needed to be done was for Mubarak to hand back money, speculated to be as much as $70 billion, which Mubarak illegally took over the course of his 30 year reign and now owes to the Egyptian people in order for economic progress to emerge.

ElBaradei has stated he believes Egypt should be run by ‘institutions’ rather than ‘individuals’ and has said, “I want to come up with a renaissance project for Egypt and not an electoral program for ElBaradei”.



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April 13, 2011

Mubarak arrested in Egypt ahead of corruption probe

Mubarak arrested in Egypt ahead of corruption probe

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cquote1.svg The prosecutor general orders the detention of former president Hosni Mubarak and his sons Gamal and Alaa. Cquote2.svg

—Egyptian prosecutor general

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File photograph of Hosni Mubarak.
Image: World Economic Forum.

Hosni Mubarak, the ousted president of Egypt, who was last night taken to hospital after a heart attack, has been detained by prosecutors in the country ahead of a corruption probe. Egyptian officials allege Mubarak was involved in corruption and killings while he was in office.

The prosecutor general confirmed Mubarak and his two sons, Gamal and Alaa, had been detained for 15 days in the early hours of this morning. The former president, ousted from power in February following widespread protests across the country, remains in hospital after suffering a heart attack while being questioned by Egyptian officials yesterday.

Mubarak was summoned to face questions before Egyptian officials on Sunday over allegations of money laundering while he was in power and claims he ordered security forces to fire on anyone protesting against him. Sources say he suffered a heart attack while being interrogated by Egyptian prosecutors, and was taken to hospital in the coastal city of Sharm el-Sheikh, where he has been living since resigning. He arrived at the hospital in an armored car and flanked by heavy protection, according to two sources in the city, which lies on the coast of the Red Sea.

Outside the hospital, thousands of people gathered to demand Mubarak stand trial for ordering security forces to fire on protesters during the popular uprising earlier this year, when 800 people were killed. As Gamal and Alaa were driven away in a police van the crowd pelted the vehicle with stones, water bottles and shoes. Thousands more have gathered in Tahrir Square in the capital, Cairo, in the past few days demanding Mubarak be tried for his alleged crimes.

Mubarak has robustly denied the allegations of corruption and killings during his administration. Shortly before he was ordered for questioning on Sunday, the television station Al-Arabiya broadcast an audio message from the former leader, in which he said he would defend himself against what he termed an “unjust” campaign of “distortions, lies and incitement” against him. He claimed his enemies were systematically aiming to “tarnish my reputation and discredit my integrity,” and said he would legally fight those who “engaged in lies and distortions against me.”



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  • “Mubarak refused permission to leave Egypt for treatment after heart attack” — Wikinews, April 12, 2011
  • “Mubarak summoned by Egyptian prosecutors to face allegations of killings and corruption” — Wikinews, April 10, 2011

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April 12, 2011

Mubarak refused permission to leave Egypt for treatment after heart attack

Mubarak refused permission to leave Egypt for treatment after heart attack

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

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Ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has been refused permission to leave the country for medical treatment in Germany after suffering a heart attack during questioning by prosecutors who allege he was involved in corruption and killings while in government. The former leader was transported to hospital this afternoon days after he defended himself against allegations of money laundering.

Hosni Mubarak pictured in 2003.
Image: Ricardo Stuckert.

Mubarak, who is banned from leaving Egypt, was today taken to hospital in the coastal city of Sharm el-Sheikh, where he has been living since being ousted from power following widespread protests across the country, a security source confirmed. It is understood aides have requested he be allowed to leave the country for Germany, where he underwent surgery on his gall bladder last year. Officials close to Mubarak have repeatedly insisted recent reports that the former leader’s health was deteriorating were false.

The hospital is reported to have effectively shut down since Mubarak’s admission today, and is only accepting emergencies, although Wikinews cannot independently verify this report. The security source said Mubarak was taken to hospital “amid a very heavy security presence in the town” this afternoon after maintaining a low profile in the city, on the coast with the Red Sea. He arrived at the hospital in his armored Mercedes, flanked by heavy police protection, according to two doctors who spoke anonymously. Hearing the news of the hospitalization a number of protesters arrived at the hospital to picket against the former president. The hospital declined to make any comment on the news, and said the Egyptian minister of health would make a statement later today.

Mubarak was being questioned by Egyptian officials, who summoned him for interrogation at the weekend, when he was taken to hospital. Prosecutors allege he ordered security forces to fire on people protesting against his rule. In an audio interview broadcast on television station Al-Arabiya, he said he would robustly defend himself against what he termed an “unjust” campaign of “distortions, lies and incitement” against him. He claimed his enemies were systematically aiming to “tarnish my reputation and discredit my integrity,” and said he would legally fight those who “engaged in lies and distortions against me.”


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April 10, 2011

Mubarak summoned by Egyptian prosecutors to face allegations of killings and corruption

Mubarak summoned by Egyptian prosecutors to face allegations of killings and corruption

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

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Hosni Mubarak was ousted as president of Egypt in February.
Image: Executive Office of the President of the United States.

Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president ousted in February after massive demonstrations, has been summoned by officials in the country to face questions about corruption within his administration and allegations he ordered his forces to kill activists protesting against him.

The news came hours after Mubarak announced he would cooperate with the investigation into corruption within his regime, and said he would robustly defend himself against what he termed an “unjust” campaign of “distortions, lies and incitement” against him. He made the comments in his first appearance since he was ousted from office.

His two sons have also been summoned by Egyptian prosecutors to answer to allegations of embezzlement of public funds during Mubarak’s rule. This afternoon, the former prime minister of Egypt, Ahmed Nazif, was taken into custody for 15 days as part of the corruption investigation, the Egyptian public prosecutor said in a statement.

Mubarak said he would not be returning to politics and he had left office in “the interest of the country”. He said he would write to Egyptian officials to say he would cooperate with their investigation, and added the inquest would find his assets were “far from any allegations of corruption,” following which he would “legally pursue those who engaged in lies and distortions against me.”

Cquote1.svg I have been in great pain because of the unjust campaigns and untrue allegations targeting myself and my family. Cquote2.svg

—Hosni Mubarak

In an audio message which aired today on Al-Arabiya, Mubarak said he would not “stay silent regarding the incitement campaign against me.” He said: “I have been in great pain because of the unjust campaigns and untrue allegations targeting myself and my family. They aim to tarnish my reputation and discredit my integrity, my stance, my political and military history during which I worked hard for Egypt and its people in peace and war.”

On Friday, dozens were injured and at least one person killed as the Egyptian army moved into Tahrir Square in Cairo to clear protesters calling for Mubarak to stand trial for corruption. The army has denied using live ammunition, but several people suffered gunshot wounds.

Three people within Mubarak’s administration have been charged with corruption by Egyptian authorities in the wake of Mubarak stepping down from his position as president two months ago after widespread protests in Egypt. Officials have denied reports he is unwell, and he is thought to be residing at his home in Sharm el-Sheikh, on the coast of the Red Sea. He has been barred from leaving the country.



Sources

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