Leaks on Mubarak’s pardon were deliberate, analyst says

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CAIRO: News of possibly granting amnesty to ousted president Hosni Mubarak indicates a deliberate state of vagueness and absence of transparency on the part of the caretaker government as well as the ruling army council, said political analyst Nabil Abdel-Fatah.

“Deliberately leaked information aims to test Egyptian public opinion, especially the younger generation who sparked [the January 25 Revolution],” Abdel-Fatah, deputy head of Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, told Daily News Egypt.

The ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAP) denied in a statement early Wednesday unconfirmed news about pardoning Mubarak.

"The SCAF confirms that there is absolutely no truth in what was published about…pardoning ex-president Hosni Mubarak and his family," the army said in communiqué 54 published on its official Facebook page.

“The council does not intervene in any way in legal procedures that have to do with holding symbols of the former [regime] accountable," the statement read, adding that legal measures are handled only by the judiciary.

On Tuesday, daily independent Al-Shorouk published unconfirmed news about Mubarak’s intention to seek amnesty from the SCAF after relinquishing his assets.

According to the article citing anonymous sources, a speech was being prepared for broadcast on Egyptian and Arab channels in which Mubarak would apologize on behalf of himself and his family for any offence they caused to the Egyptian people.

The former president was also reportedly planning to apologize for any action he took based on false information passed on to him by his advisors, the report said.

“Speaking about a new emotional speech by Mubarak through which he attempts to gain sympathy is a trend that proved to be totally wrong,” Abdel-Fatah argued.

The army council warned against what it described as “malicious rumors” intended to create a rift between the people and the military.

SCAF further said it was not responsible for any news released by the media or attributed to the council members unless it is based on official statements.

The military council called on media to stop involving the SCAF or any of its members in these circulated reports at such a critical phase in the country’s history.

On April 10, Mubarak denied in a recorded audio message aired on pan-Arab Al-Arabiya news channel all corruption allegations against him, confirming that neither he nor his family possessed any assets abroad.

About 20 minutes later, the prosecutor general summoned him and his two sons, Alaa and Gamal, for interrogation over corruption charges as well as responsibility for murdering peaceful protesters.

Alaa and Gamal Mubarak were taken to Cairo’s Tora prison, while Mubarak remained in custody at Sharm El-Sheikh international hospital until his medical state stabilizes.

Last week, daily independent Al-Masry Al-Youm reported unconfirmed news citing an anonymous source about the amended law for practicing political rights denying Egyptians living abroad the right to vote in the next parliamentary elections.

This news was denied by the military council a few hours later after it raised the concerns of political groups and expatriates alike.

“Such leaks caused a state of confusion as well as a rift between the people and the government and the military council,” Abdel-Fatah said.

“If these attempts are repeated, they will [probably] lead to widespread protests calling for a civilian council to rule the country,” he added.

Meanwhile, thousands of activists called for holding mass protests in Tahrir and other parts of Egypt dubbed the “Friday of Rejecting Apology and Revolution Manipulation,” decrying the release of former first lady Suzanne Sabet, and the temporary release of ex-head of presidential staff Zakaria Azmy. They also refused any apology on Mubarak’s part.

They vowed to hold demonstrations on Friday May 27 under the slogan “The Second Egyptian Rage Revolution” if demands are not met.

Political groups and forces had earlier suspended the weekly Friday protests after Mubarak and his two sons were detained last month. But they resumed following sectarian clashes and acts of thuggery committed over the past two weeks, in a bid to show national unity.


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