CAIRO: In another twist in the tale of Gamal Abdel Nasser’s death, prominent journalist Mohamed Hassanein Heikal implied on his show “Tagrobat Al-Hayat” that the late president was killed by his successor Anwar Sadat.
On the episode aired Thursday, Sept. 16, on Al-Jazeera, Heikal said that during a meeting which took place at the Hilton between the late presidents Abdel Nasser, Arafat and Sadat, at which Heikal was present, Sadat suggested that he personally prepare a cup of coffee for Abdel-Nasser. Three days later, Heikal said, Abdel Nasser passed away.
Heikal claimed that Sadat’s cup of coffee was poisoned, yet he admits to not having solid evidence to support his theory.
In response Roqayya Sadat, daughter of the late president, filed a lawsuit against Heikal for his attempt to slander her father’s reputation with no solid proof.
“Sadat was not Abdel Nasser’s butler, serving him his coffee,” she was quoted as saying in Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper. She added that Hoda Abdel Nasser had previously accused Sadat of killing her father, an accusation for which she was fined LE 150,000 by the Court of South Cairo for smearing Sadat’s reputation.
Walid Kazziha, political sciences professor at the American University in Cairo, found it a daring move on Heikal’s part to make such claims, especially that the story is based on false evidence.
Kazziha said that such statements could’ve only been made in a spontaneous context. “Such a story is very unlikely to be true, since Abdel Nasser was very cautious following the 1952 revolution,” he said.
Heikal in turn said that whatever he mentioned on his show holds no offense to anyone.