CAIRO: The People’s Assembly (PA) has lifted parliamentary immunity from independent MP Talaat El-Sadat due to charges of bribery brought against him by the State Security Prosecution Office.
The Ministry of Justice had requested from PA speaker Fathi Sorour to lift El-Sadat’s immunity since he is under investigation into charges that he had received a bribe from a businessman.
According to the report submitted by Sorour to the legislative committee of the PA, the chairman of the Ganoub Wady real estate investment company, Ezz Eldin Mohamed, had requested a permit from the Ministry of Tourism to begin activities in tourism transport.
The report added that Mohamed sought El-Sadat’s help. The latter allegedly asked for a payment of LE 250,000 to procure the permit, of which LE 100,000 was allegedly already handed over by Mohamed’s wife to El-Sadat’s.
Mohamed’s wife had testified that her husband had asked her to present a “gift to El-Sadat’s wife, which she later discovered was a monetary amount. She also admitted that she had also handed LE 35,000 to Mahmoud Shalaby, El-Sadat’s office manager, which he said he then gave to El-Sadat’s wife.
The MP had requested permission from Sorour to testify in the investigations without immunity being lifted, but the request was refused and his parliamentary immunity was lifted.
On Monday, he addressed the parliament saying, “If you think I’m a bad person lift the immunity, but if you think this was blown out of proportion, they you can only allow me to testify in the investigation.
El-Sadat’s phone was turned off and he could not be reached for comment.
He did however tell Al-Masry Al-Youm that the entire case was fabricated by the security apparatus and that he would present to the legislative committee documents to prove that the Interior Ministry was behind the whole matter.
At the parliament he said, “If you want me to quit politics, I’ll quit. If you want me to stop attending PA sessions, I’ll stop. I don’t know what I did. If something is good, I say it’s good, and if it’s bad, I object.
El-Sadat, who is the nephew of former president Anwar El-Sadat, was sentenced by a military tribunal to one year in prison in September 2006 for “insulting the armed forces, after claiming that members of the army were behind the assassination of his uncle in 1981.
He contentiously resigned from the PA’s National Security and Defense Committee last January blaming the behavior of MPs from the majority National Democratic Party towards opposition MPs during a session discussing the underground barrier Egypt is building on its border with Gaza.
In a letter to Sorour, he said he was resigning due to “the insulting of colleagues from the Muslim Brotherhood and our Palestinian brothers who were labeled drugs and arms dealers, [as well as] the government’s representative (Minister for Parliamentary Affairs) Mufid Shehab’s refusal to answer our queries on the funding of this wall and its omission from the budget. -Additional reporting by Magdy Samaan