Notorious SSIS officers reinstated after court acquittal

Fifteen officers from the now-dissolved State Security Investigation Services (SSIS), who were acquitted of destroying state documents at the infamous agency this week, have been awarded jobs at the National Security Agency.

The 15 acquitted officers celebrated the verdict by handing out chocolate to their colleagues, sources within Interior Ministry told Al-Masry Al-Youm on Friday.

The officers have held on to their jobs during their trial, according to sources speaking on condition of anonymity.

An official within the ministry, also speaking on condition of anonymity, has defended the move, claiming it does violate any law since the men were neither sacked nor convicted during the trial.

Another 13 officers, also tried in the case, have been transferred to other positions at the Interior Ministry while the remaining defendants, including former SSIS chief Hassan Abdel Rahman, have been sent into early retirement.

Giza Criminal Court on Wednesday acquitted 41 senior SSIS officers accused of ordering the destruction of state documents in the wake of Egypt's 25 January revolution.

In March 2011, hundreds of civilians broke into SSIS offices in Cairo and other governorates across the country following reports that its officers had been disposing of documents believed to represent evidence of corruption and torture by the authorities.

The SSIS, Egypt’s much-feared and despised security agency, was an important prop for former President Hosni Mubarak's regime, regularly suppressing activism and dissent. Among a host of other charges, the agency stood accused of torturing political detainees.

Egypt’s former Interior Minister Mansour al-Essawy disbanded the agency in March 2011, replacing it with what is now known as the National Security Agency.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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