Wednesday's papers: Mubarak watched protester killings, alleges fact-finding committee

Wednesday's papers: Mubarak watched protester killings, alleges fact-finding committee

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Wed, 02/01/2013 - 11:33

"Mubarak saw the killing of the protesters during the revolution," privately owned daily Al-Shorouk leads Wednesday's coverage.

The attention-grabbing headline is followed with a report that former President Hosni Mubarak was aware of the events happening in Tahrir Square during the 2011 revolution and monitored everything via an encoded channel, according to a fact-finding committee formed by President Mohamed Morsy. The channel was allegedly set up by then-Information Minister Anas al-Fiqqi, who reportedly still has a copy of the footage. Committee member Mohsen Bahnassy says the panel is scheduled to meet with Morsy to discuss its findings Wednesday.

The committee also reveals other allegations, including former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly's claim that American embassy cars were used in illegal missions during the revolution and that certain documents issued by the ministry contain the names of all officers appointed in Tahrir and other main squares during the 2011 protests, Al-Shorouk reports.  

The committee's Secretary General Omar Marwan also purportedly told the paper that the names of the real criminals behind protester deaths have been revealed and confirmed that "foreign entities" were involved. Marwan says the final draft of the committee's report will contain many surprises condemning prominent political and foreign leaders.

Government newspapers on the other hand, focus this morning on controversial new protest legislation. Al-Akhbar reports that Justice Minister Ahmed Mekky has confirmed a new bill regulating demonstrations is in the making.

Several lawmakers and government officials had previously denied the government is in talks over a draft law leaked earlier this week to newspapers that would severely restrict protests. But Mekky reportedly says that every right in the world has some restrictions. The legislation, according to the minister, may ban protests in houses of worship and allocate certain other areas for demonstrations. He also confirmed a previously reported restriction that protest organizers would have to inform authorities in advance of the time and location of their demonstration.

Freedom and Justice highlights the country's currency issues in the unconventional headline "Egyptian expats are real men." The party mouthpiece raves about the bank transfers from abroad as part of a "transfer dollars to Egypt" initiative that follows a new currency regime announced by the Central Bank Saturday and the subsequent devaluation of the pound.

The paper reports US$162 million has arrived via a Swiss plane from Zurich for Misr Bank and National Bank of Egypt and a renowned Saudi businessman deposited US$2 billion in his Egyptian account. The newspaper added that National Bank of Egypt has simplified the process of opening an account in dollars for locals and Egyptian expatriates, especially those in Saudi Arabia.      

The arrest of suspect Islam Ashraf in the shooting of April 6 Youth Activist Mohannad Samir makes headlines in the liberal party paper Al-Wafd. The 29-year-old was arrested in a restaurant downtown and allegedly admitted to shooting at protesters Monday when they refused to let him enter Tahrir Square by car, according to a police source. Demonstrating the confusion surrounding the case, Al-Akhbar says Ashraf is the owner of a café and restaurant in downtown and was arrested in a nearby cabaret. Other accounts have reported that Ashraf denied the allegations against him.

Egypt’s papers:

Al-Ahram: Daily, state-run, largest distribution in Egypt

Al-Akhbar: Daily, state-run, second to Al-Ahram in institutional size

Al-Gomhurriya: Daily, state-run

Rose al-Youssef: Daily, state-run

Al-Dostour: Daily, privately owned

Al-Shorouk: Daily, privately owned

Al-Watan: Daily, privately owned

Al-Wafd: Daily, published by the liberal Wafd Party

Youm7: Daily, privately owned

Al-Tahrir: Daily, privately owned

Al-Sabah: Daily, privately owned

Freedom and Justice: Daily, published by the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party

Sawt al-Umma: Weekly, privately owned

Al-Arabi: Weekly, published by the Nasserist Party

Al-Nour: Official paper of the Salafi Nour Party