CAIRO: The investigating judge Wagdy Abdel Moneim released without bail Tuesday Head of Ghad El-Thawra Party Ayman Nour pending investigations into his alleged involvement in the recent Cabinet clashes between protesters and armed forces that left 17 dead.
Nour was also banned from travel outside the country.
"This is a good outcome for the interrogation; if could have been released on bail or he could have been jailed," Nour’s lawyer Ramy Ghanem told Daily News Egypt.
Nour is facing charges of inciting vandalism of public property (namely of the Scientific Complex, which was set ablaze during the clashes) as well as incitement to block the roads and stop traffic, Ghanem said.
"There is no legal evidence provided except for one testimony by Ibrahim Kabo, one of the arrested defendants in the case, who alleged that Nour paid another defendant called Abdel Nasser to burn the complex and to riot," Ghanem said, adding that Abdel Nasser later denied these allegations.
Nour said in a statement that the judge refused to listen to the testimony of defense witnesses and preferred to interrogate Nour alone with his lawyer.
Nour described the interrogation as a "return to the practices of the old regime with the same logic and tactics,” calling the charges "funny and a waste of time."
"I wouldn’t have paid bail if they asked me to, I am not a defendant and the revolution will win," he said in the statement.
Activist Nawara Negm, spokesman of the April 6 Youth Movement’s Democratic Front Tarek El-Khouly, politician Mamdouh Hamza, and Imam of the Omar Makram Mosque Mazhar Shahin were also summoned for interrogation in the same case.
The Egyptian Center for Social and Economic Rights (ECSER) reported Tuesday that the person who filed the complaint against Negm is Abdel Aziz Fahmy, the very same prosecution witness who testified against prominent activist Alaa Abdel Fattah in the Maspero case.
Abdel Fattah’s defense lawyers accused Fahmy of perjury as he said he saw Abdel Fattah with activist Wael Abbas during the Maspero clashes, which proved untrue because Abbas was outside the country during the clashes.
"I received the summons late Monday to appear before the prosecutor on Wednesday where only the case number was mentioned, no details or charges were mentioned in the notification," El-Khouly told DNE on Tuesday.
"I will go and see what happens," he said.
Egypt’s official Middle East News Agency (MENA) reported on Sunday, a day before an official summons was issued, that an investigating judge had summoned a number of prominent politicians and activists for questioning related to their involvement in funding protesters and inciting them to attack army and police forces during the deadly Cabinet clashes in December.
The activists said they knew about their summons from the media, before being officially served.
"The time of the interrogation was 9:30 pm on Monday, I received the notification very late and could not go, and I do not know what will happen if I’m summoned again. I am not prepared and have not decided if I will go," Hamza told DNE.
Hamza wrote on his Twitter account earlier that the news did not surprise him. He cited the December issue of state-owned October magazine, which carried a photograph of him alongside other revolutionaries, referring to them as "inciters."
"A former military general filed a complaint against me, accusing me of incitement during the Cabinet clashes and of burning the Scientific Complex. He even called for my execution," Hamza said.
"I was not officially notified of the interrogation. I just knew about it from the media, but frankly I don’t see any reason why I should be summoned," he wrote.
Negm confirmed receiving a similar summons to stand before the judge on Wednesday and said on her Twitter account that she will go with her lawyers.