Witnesses accuse Salafi preacher and blogger in Shafiq campaign office fire

Witnesses accuse Salafi preacher and blogger in Shafiq campaign office fire

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Thu, 31/05/2012 - 18:04

Investigations into the fire at former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq’s campaign headquarters revealed the involvement of 22 suspects, according to the findings presented to the Dokki Prosecutor in Cairo on Monday. A witness told investigators that the instigators of the fire included Salafi preacher Safwat Hegazy, blogger Wael Abbas and activist Amr Morsy.

According to the witness, activist Samira Ahmed posted a “hit-list” on her Facebook page that included Shafiq, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi and former intelligence chief Omar Suleiman.

The prosecution will examine the witness statements and attempt to determine if there is any truth to them. Activist Alaa Abd El Fattah, his sister, and three others have also been summoned for questioning. Abd El Fattah had already been questioned in connection with the incident and released.

A judge extended the detention of defendants Bahaa al-Bastawisi, a political activist and member of the Democratic Front Party, and Sultan Mohamed on charges of arson, thuggery, and damage to public and private property, saying that the investigation confirmed their involvement in the event.

Shafiq will be competing in the presidential election runoffs on 16 and 17 June against Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsy. In the first round of the election on 23 and 24 May, Shafiq finished second with nearly 24 percent of votes to Morsy’s 25 percent.

Shafiq’s success angered many who consider him a “feloul,” or remnant of former President Mubarak’s regime. A number of revolutionary movements have called for protests against him competing in the runoffs.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm