Former information minister released on bail over defaming revolution

Former information minister released on bail over defaming revolution

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Wed, 09/01/2013 - 21:16

Former Information Minister Anas al-Fiqqi was released Wednesday on LE5,000 bail and pending investigation in charges of disseminating false news about the 25 January revolution in a way that disturbed public security and peace.

Fiqqi and Abdel Latif al-Manawy, former director of the state TV news department, are said to have called the demonstrators a bunch of people who are “trying to sabotage the country.”

Fiqqi, who has denied the charge, will remain in custody, as he is detained pending investigation in an illicit gains case.

Over 18 consecutive days of protest, state TV accused revolutionaries of attempting to destabilize the country and being paid to implement foreign agendas.

State TV was blasted for its coverage during the revolution, when it would focus its cameras on views of empty bridges and the Nile; meters away, hundreds of thousands of Egyptians were protesting to demand the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.

State TV’s coverage aroused the fury of many viewers and protesters.

The Court of Cassation last month annulled a previous verdict against Fiqqi on graft charges. He is expected to stand retrial.

Last September, Cairo Criminal Court sentenced Fiqqi to seven years in jail for corruption, along with Osama al-Sheikh, the former head of state TV, who was sentenced to five years.

Edited translation from MENA