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Egypt: Beltagy questions Mubarak in court

December 28, 2018 at 9:56 am

Vice chairman of the Freedom And Justice Party Mohamed Beltagy (L) and Senior political figures of the Muslim Brotherhood Saad El-Katatni (R) are seen during a trial session over the Wadi el-Natrun prison case at Cairo Police Academy in Egypt on 26 February, 2017 [Moustafa El Shemy/Anadolu Agency]

Imprisoned Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Beltagy questioned ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak as part of his testimony in court earlier this week.

Mubarak appeared before the court to testify against former President Mohamed Morsi and other members of the Muslim Brotherhood on Wednesday amid tight security. At first, he refused to testify, claiming that his testimony might “affect the country’s national security, and must be approved by the president, otherwise I will be violating the law.” However, he changed his mind and responded to the judge’s questions, according to the Anadolu Agency’s correspondent.

During the trial, Beltagy tapped the soundproof glass of the detention room, which isolates the detainees, asking permission to direct questions at Mubarak.

READ: Egypt sentences Brotherhood leader Badie to death

Beltagy’s asked Mubarak: “After relaying the events of the incident, do you believe that a foreign armed attack took place after the revolution of 25 January 2011, bearing in mind that the commander of the Second Field Army, Mohammed Farid, denied such a story?”

Mubarak replied saying the question “has nothing to do with the testimony.”

He added: “General Omar Suleiman [head of Egypt’s General Intelligence Directorate at the time] informed me about what happened and told me that 800 armed elements crossed the Egyptian border. But, he did not mention their nationalities.”

Beltagy then highlighted contradictions in Mubarak’s testimony regarding the factors that triggered the outbreak of the Egyptian revolution, whether the protests were caused by the public’s anger or a conspiracy.

President Sisi & the Generals feast, while the people continue to live under military jackboots – Cartoon [Sarwar Ahmed/MiddleEastMonitor]

Mubarak, who was overthrown as a result of the 2011 revolution, stated: “All Egyptians are aware now of the conspiracy and the foul plot. At that time, I sent a delegation to consult with the demonstrators and listen to their demands, but they did not have any, so I knew it was a manoeuvre and a conspiracy.”

With regards the army’s failure to arrest foreign armed elements who allegedly committed murders and destroyed public properties, Mubarak said “such information is not accurate. The Egyptian army is competent; however, conspirators wanted to spread such rumours in order to create a disaster.”

READ: Beltagy calls on Mubarak to provide testimony

According to a short video broadcast by local media, Mubarak was accompanied by both of his sons, Alaa and Gamal.

Military coup that ousted Mohamed Morsi in Egypt- Cartoon [Latuff/MiddleEastMonitor]

Military coup that ousted Mohamed Morsi in Egypt- Cartoon [Carlos Latuff/MiddleEastMonitor]

This was the first time the two former presidents, Mubarak and Morsi, have come face to face. Mubarak was in court to testify as part of a retrial in which Morsi and others are accused of orchestrating prison breaks and breaches of Egypt’s eastern border during the uprising that forced Mubarak from power in February 2011.

Mubarak, 90, gave evidence for an hour and a half at the high-security prison complex in southern Cairo where Morsi is detained. Wearing a dark suit and using a walking stick, he was escorted into the courtroom by his two sons.

Morsi was dressed in prison overalls and seated in thick glass and metal cage running down one side of the courtroom, like other senior figures of the Brotherhood who are defendants in the case.