An arrest warrant has been issued for Ahmed Shafiq, Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister and Mohamed Morsy’s top contender in the 2012 presidential elections, according to state-owned MENA news agency.
Charges have been pressed against Shafiq, alongside the ousted president’s sons Gamal and Alaa Mubarak, by Judge Osama Al-Saeidi. Shafiq is accused of helping Mubarak’s sons unlawfully appropriate over 40,000 square metres of land in the Bohayrat Al-Murra region in Ismaileya. The land was originally allocated to aviation officers.
“It’s a rather late step,” Human rights lawyer and director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) Gamal Eid said, commenting on the charges. “There are numerous reports filed against Shafiq, some of them go back until March and April 2011.”
According to Eid, the timing suggests that Shafiq was only charged because he is no longer a presidential hopeful.
“There is a need for equality in the treatment of those accused of crimes and the even application of the law, regardless of defendants’ backgrounds,” Eid said, such was not the case in the current situation.
Several complaints have been filed against Shafiq, yet the one in question was filed by moderate Islamist lawyer Essam Sultan, deputy head of Al-Wasat party.
Shafiq, who flew to the United Arab Emirates two days after he lost the run-off presidential elections in June and has remained there since, was added to the border watch-list by Judge Al-Saeidi in late August, in relation to the same case, as he was wanted for questioning.
But now that he is officially wanted, “he must immediately head back to Egypt for he is now considered a fugitive,” Eid said. “He is also putting the UAE in a very tough position; they are almost hiding him.”
Eid also explained that Egypt now officially has the right to request his arrest through Interpol.
“The UAE should comply with the law either by handing him over to Egypt or request he leave the country.”
Shafiq told anchor Wael Al-Ebrashi on the talk show Al-Ashera Masa’an on Dream TV several nights ago that he had no intention of returning back to Egypt before “the right time.”
He also denied having facilitated the acquisition of the piece of land in question, saying that when any aviator becomes member of the aviators’ assembly, his family becomes a member of the assembly as well.
MENA reported that a number of other aviation major generals were also charged, including: Nabil Farid Shoukry; Mohamed Reda Abdel Hamid Saqr; Mohamed Ra’ouf Helmi; and Mohamed Fakhr Al-Islam Al-Sawy.
The defendants are charged with a number of offences, including: profiteering; facilitating the appropriation of public money; and intentionally appropriating public money.