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Abdel Fattah faces trial for Shafiq headquarters attack

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Case referred to trial following the blogger’s questioning over involvement in Moqattam clashes

Activist Alaa Abdel Fattah in a press conference on Wednesday (Photo by Mohamed Omar/DNE)

Activist Alaa Abdel Fattah in a press conference on Wednesday (Photo by Mohamed Omar/DNE)

Political activist Alaa Abdel Fattah is facing trial for his alleged involvement in setting fire to former presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq’s campaign headquarters.

The opposition activist and blogger said he received a message from the prosecution informing him that he would face trial alongside 12 other people, including his sister and No to Military Trials for Civilians movement founder Mona Seif.

Unidentified men set Shafiq’s campaign headquarters in Dokki on fire after Shafiq, the last prime minister of the Mubarak era, advanced to the second round of elections against eventual winner President Mohamed Morsi.

Abdel Fattah said at the time he only went there to see what was happening, and that he had arrived on scene after the building had been torched. Shafiq’s campaign filed a complaint against him but a former campaign spokesperson says the Shafiq camp later dropped all charges.

Abdel Fattah says he received the message right after he publicly challenged Prosecutor General Tal’at Abdallah, saying that “he will not be able to imprison me”.

The incident comes a day after Abdel Fattah handed himself in to authorities, as an arrest warrant was issued by the prosecution for him and four other activists in relation to their connection with violence against Muslim Brotherhood members in the Moqattam clashes last Friday.

Abdel Fattah said he refused to answer questions because he did not recognise Abdallah’s legitimacy as Prosecutor General and that he was asked questions regarding mentions of his name and messages he received on Twitter.

“At least the guys before [Mubarak-era officials] could trump up charges properly,” Abdel Fattah said. He was temporarily released following his questioning.

The prosecution’s official spokesperson released a statement claiming Abdel Fattah denied all accusations, but Abdel Fattah denied this in his own statement, saying he had refused to answer questions and thus could not have denied or confessed to anything.

About the author

Ahmed Aboulenein

News Reporter

Ahmed Aboul Enein is an Egyptian journalist who hates writing about himself in the third person. Follow him on Twitter @aaboulenein

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