Sadat’s daughter challenges insinuations tying her father to Nasser’s death

The daughter of Egypt’s former president Mohamed Anwar al-Sadat has filed a report to the prosecutor general against Mohamed Hassanein Heikal, a historian, journalist and former aid to al-Sadat. Ruqayyia al-Sadat accused Heikal of slander against her father after he made statements suggesting President al-Sadat's culpability in the death of his predecessor, Gamal Abdel Nasser.

Ruqayyia cited September 16th statements made by Heikal on his TV show, where the host discussed his memory of al-Sadat making Nasser a cup of coffee three days before his death. Heikal broadcasts his talk show “Tajrubat Haya” (A Life Experience) on al-Jazeera, a Qatari satellite channel.

Samir Sabry, Ruqayyia’s lawyer, said Heikal pointed out in his program that al-Sadat made the coffee himself after ordering Nasser’s own chef out of the kitchen, insinuating foul play. At the time of the suspected incident, Nasser was meeting with deceased Palestinian president Yasser Arafat at the Hilton hotel.

Nasser is widely believed to have been poisoned.

Ruqayyia al-Sadat dismissed the insinuation and noted that Huda Abdel Nasser was previously fined LE150,000 for falsely accusing al-Sadat of killing her father.

On his show, Heikal said he could not make a decision on al-Sadat’s involvement without certain evidence. In contradiction to previous suggestions, he also added that the suspicions surrounding al-Sadat are unacceptable, arguing that no body can believe al-Sadat would do that.

Nasser and al-Sadat were both members of the Free Officers organization which led the 1952 military coup that ousted Egypt's last king Farouq I and  established a republican system. Nasser became president in 1953, and was succeeded by al-Sadat in 1971.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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