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Surveillance equipment removed from Egypt's Presidential Palace

Media reports in Egypt claim that the national security agencies have swept the Presidential Palace clean of surveillance equipment. It is alleged that the electronic bugs were installed by the ex-Chief of Presidential Staff on the direct orders of Suzanne Mubarak, the deposed president's wife. The building's air-conditioning system has also been changed completely; the original was imported from the US and was believed to have been full of cameras and listening devices.

The changes have been made, said the reports, as part of the renovation of the presidential building. Electrical goods and equipment made in America has been banned; all new communications devices, computers and wireless telephones have been imported from advanced German and French sources. All suspicious devices of the kind favoured by the ex-president have been removed and it is believed that all areas used by the incoming president of Egypt and his family will in future be secure.

The newspaper pointed out that ex-President Hosni Mubarak found an electronic bug in his telephone in the late eighties. The US was monitoring his conversations and was able to force an Egyptian aircraft to land in Italy, with the hijackers of the Achille Lauro cruise ship on board; the Americans had discovered its flight path by eavesdropping on Mubarak.

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