Arabi 21 has obtained a summary of the statement made by the Deputy General Guide of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Khayrat Al-Shatir during the recent court session held on Tuesday as part of the retrial of the Brotherhood on charges of communicating with Hamas prior to the January revolution. The case was adjoined to 28 August for sentencing.
Toward the end of the defence lawyers’ statement in the case, the deputy chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party, Issam Al-Iryan, asked the judge to permit engineer Khayrat Al-Shatir to make a statement absout what happened with him during the meeting with UAE Foreign Minister and the Assistant US State Secretary inside the prison in the aftermath of the coup.
After Al-Iryan made his request, Al-Shatir spoke for the first time since the 3 July 2013 coup addressing the court for about forty-five minutes.
The following is the summary of Khayrat Al-Shatir’s statement as obtained by Arabi 21:
In the name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah and may prayers and peace be upon the most honourable of messengers.
I hereby deny, on my own behalf and on behalf of all the accused in this case including Dr. Muhammad Morsi who passed away as a martyr, the charge of communication (spying).
We have been accused of communicating (spying) during the period from 2006 until the January revolution. I deny this charge on my own behalf and on behalf of all my brothers on the basis of many facts, evidences and details.
I maintain the falsity of the testimony made by former interior minister Major General Mahmoud Wagdi, Major General Adel Azab and Habib Al-Adli and the falsity of the prosecution charges against me and against all my brothers in this case.
Mahmoud Wagdi, who testified that we communicated before the January revolution, was the one who released me after the 25 January revolution. He called the prison warden and requested him to call me and tell me that that an executive order has been issued to the effect of releasing me. So, if he had information against me, why did he release me? It is improbable that the information came to him afterwards because my release from prison coincided with the sacking of the cabinet. So, where from could he have obtained any information or any investigations about us? That was his last day in the ministry.
Afterwards, Mahmoud Wagdi invited me to his office in the presence of security leaders. So, how come that all the security leaderships dealt with us at the time and afterwards for the following years without making any charges against us? As one of the political forces, why did we meet (the former director of the intelligence services) Omar Suleiman? Was he simply unaware of the investigations?
Field Marshal Tantawi dropped all the charges made against me and the rest of the brothers and the military court sentences. All charges were dropped and apologies made and the nominations of the brothers to various posts were accepted: Saad Al-Katatni as Parliament Speaker, Muhammad Morsi as President, and others. Where were those charges at the time? Why didn’t the High Election Committee make those charges to them or to me personally?
Why were they all fabricated for us all after the dispute? We never sought to meet anyone from outside the country. When others sought (to meet us) we insisted that such meetings should only take place through official and legitimate channels with the knowledge and participation of the general intelligence. I shall mention an example to show the extent of falsification and nonsense practiced with us.
The intelligence services got in touch with me during the time of President Morsi and asked me to speak to Ismail Haniyyah over something to do with the crossings. I said to them: in what capacity I should talk to him? The intelligence services said: In your capacity as a renowned Islamic personality. They stressed that this was in the interest of Egyptian national interest. I told them that this was the role of the president and not mine. Afterwards, I am surprised to see this being used as evidence against me. How come that we are then accused of communicating? Is this something you request from someone accused of communicating? We have been loyal to this country and never communicated and never ever conspired.
When I was first imprisoned after the coup in July, and even before I was permitted a visit by my own family,
I was visited in my prison cell by the UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs, the deputy US State Secretary, the Qatari Minister of Foreign Affairs and the representative of the European Union. I was taken aback by the prison warden who summoned me at midnight to find that the UAE Foreign Minister and the Deputy US State Secretary had come to demand that we accept the reality in exchange for releasing us.
Why would such a visit be made with permission of the prosecution, and in my prison, if such a meeting were considered to be communication. Why are we accused today of what was permitted yesterday? Why has political disputes been transformed into fabricating charges and crimes against us?
Why is the prosecution fabricating accusations and hiding facts? Why is it claiming falsely that it was President Dr. Morsi, May Allah bless his soul, who dropped the sentences made in absentia against all defendants in the International Organisation case while in fact the prosecution deliberately concealed the fact that it was the Military Council (SCAF) who issued the pardon in the presence of all the defendants.
It is most ludicrous that the prosecution accuses me of seeking to enable the US economy to dominate the Egyptian one just because of an e. mail between my company and an American businessman. The irony is that my company in fact rejected the commercial offer at the time because we felt it was infeasible.
It is an aspect of black comedy that I find this matter in the form of an accusation fabricated against me in the investigations file while soon after I was imprisoned, and before banning me from having newspapers, I came across a news report saying that the minister of provisions was introducing that same American businessman to the state and hailing praise on him. Why then am I being prosecuted? What is this deception?
It’s been twenty-seven years since 1992 during which I was imprisoned for 19 years. I have been free for only a few years. We shall be nothing but loyal to this country. We never conspired and we never ever communicated. They know this well.
“God has control over His affairs, but most people do not know.”
“As for those who do wrong, they will know by what overturning they will be overturned.”