Gamal Fahmy, the journalist accused of insulting President Mohamed Morsi and subsequently “threatening national security” did not appear for interrogation on Tuesday. Fahmy had made the announcement earlier on Tuesday in a press conference, saying he does not believe in the credibility of Prosecutor General Tala’at Abdullah.
According to Gamal Abdel Reheem, a member of the Press Syndicate board, the next step for the prosecution is to transfer the case to the court system and, according to law, Fahmy cannot be placed under temporary detainment as such a law does not exist in matters related to the press.
“This incident is one in a long series of prosecutions against the media which started when Morsi came to power in June last year,” Abdel Reheem said. “It has manifested itself in several brutal incidents including the assassination of [journalist] Al-Husseini Abu Deif and attacks on independent newspapers such as Al-Watan and Al-Wafd, as well as the continuation of campaigns aimed at sealing the lips of journalists.”
According to Karem Mahmoud, secretary general of the Press Syndicate, Fahmy’s case began when he was hosted by the Al-Arabiya channel. Fahmy had commented on Abu Deif’s death, saying it was surprising that he was killed just days after he published an investigative report which revealed Morsi had decided to release his brother-in-law from a bribery case.
The presidency filed the complaint against Fahmy in January on the grounds of writing articles offensive to Morsi.
Mahmoud said Fahmy does not trust the prosecutor general’s neutrality, citing the recent attacks on journalists in front of the Muslim Brotherhood’s headquarters by its members and the failure by the prosecutor general to follow up on these attacks.