Freedom and Justice Party leading member, Mohamed Al-Beltagy, presented a statement to investigator Mahmoud Al-Hafanawy concerning developments in the case against Sabry Helmy Nakhnoukh.
According to the Muslim Brotherhood’s official website, Dr. Al-Beltagy pointed out that the charges of drug and unlicensed weapon possession were small and that the investigation should focus on Nakhnoukh’s associations with the former regime, his leadership in organised gangs, and his role in the intimidating of citizens on behalf of the Mubarak government.
Al-Beltagy claims that he received information of Nakhnoukh’s involvement in clashes at the Interior Ministry and following this he approached senior security officials, who told him that they were searching for the crime leader’s whereabouts.
Upon his arrest last week, in a raid of his King Mariout villa outside of Alexandria, Nakhnoukh, who has insisted that his arrest is purely politically motivated, has engaged with Al-Beltagy in a war of words. He has insisted that Mohamed Al-Beltagy was set on arresting him out of vengeance for his loyalty to the dissolved National Democratic Party, pointing to calls Al-Beltagy made on live television for his arrest. The detained crime boss claimed he was in possession of documents that would damage the reputation of Al-Beltagy and other senior MB members.
In an interview with state newspaper Al-Akhbar, Nakhnoukh was quoted as saying he assisted in the blocking of polling stations and vote rigging under the command of the former Minister of Interior under President Hosni Mubarak Habib Al-Adly.
He maintained that he carried out the task to prevent the Muslim Brotherhood from achieving electoral success and to sustain stability in the country, as he has repeatedly claimed that he believes the days under the Mubarak government were better than those following.
Mobilised gangs that would initiate violence, especially during elections, were a central tactic employed by the Interior Ministry to intimidate citizens and coerce them.
Al-Hafanawy postponed the rest of Al-Beltagy’s hearing due to the latter’s commitment to attend the Constitutional Assembly. The session will reconvene on 5 September.