Five officers freed in State Security cover-up investigation

An investigator appointed by the Justice Ministry decided on Sunday to release, pending investigation, five officers suspected of destroying documents in the Aswan office of the now-disbanded State Security Investigations Service (SSIS).

Mohamed Shawqi Fathi, who was commissioned to conduct the investigation, has urged the armed forces to speed up disclosure of the results of its inspections of the documents, saying that he cannot follow through with investigations without more information from the military, according to MENA, the state-run news agency.

Fathi supervises investigations around the invasion of SSIS offices by protesters in several governorates.

In March, hundreds of civilians stormed the SSIS facilities in Cairo and other governorates following reports that its officers had been destroying documents believed to provide evidence of corruption and abuse.

Some seized a number of documents and handed them over to investigators. The military confiscated all the documents handed over, and still have them in their possession.

Authorities, meanwhile, have been investigating the involvement of some SSIS officers in the destruction of the documents. The investigators will also verify whether the documents prove any violations by the disbanded agency.

The SSIS, which had been Egypt’s much-feared and hated security agency, was used by the regime of former president Hosni Mubarak to suppress political activism. The agency was accused of torturing political detainees.

Egypt’s current interim Interior Minister Mansour al-Essawy disbanded the agency in March and replaced it with the National Security Agency. Many critics, however, believe that reform of the agency was more cosmetic than actual.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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