Alleged Shater bodyguard referred to criminal court over weapons possession

The Public Prosecution referred Khalil Osama al-Aqid, the alleged personal bodyguard of the Muslim Brotherhood Deputy Supreme Guide Khairat al-Shater, to a criminal court Wednesday on charges of possessing an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

Video clips circulated by media outlets had shown Aqid, armed with a gun, escorting Shater while entering a polling station during the December constitutional referendum.

But Aqid denied the charges during interrogations by the prosecution, saying he was returning the gun to it owner, Colonel Yahia Abdel Razek, after sending it for repair. He also said he joined a personal security firm 15 days before his arrest.

Investigators, however, say Aqid held firearms frequently, and was caught with an unlicensed weapon outside the polling station where he was arrested.

State-run news agency MENA said Wednesday that Aqid denied being Shater’s personal guard.

Prosecutors said they found messages on Aqid's phone after his arrest asking him not to reveal that he was Shater's bodyguard during the investigation, besides photos showing him in military suits similar to those worn by Palestinian armed factions. Aqid said the photos were fabricated and stressed that he had not attended any military training.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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