Independent MP and journalist Mostafa Bakri told reporters on Tuesday that he believes Mubarak-era interior minister Habib El-Adly has fled house arrest in order to avoid a seven-year jail sentence and that he had help in making his escape.
Speaking to journalists at the parliament building, Bakri said that the interior ministry has not taken any serious steps to arrest El-Adly, who was convicted of embezzling funds from the ministry, adding that the facts point to "someone" helping with the escape.
"El-Adly was allowed to go free by the interior ministry, even though the court sentenced him to seven years in prison on 15 April, or one month ago," said Bakri.
"Despite the seven-year prison sentence against him and despite tight security measures that have been imposed on his house in Sixth of October City since 15 April, El-Adly was allowed to flee his house before arrest," continued Bakri.
On April 15, Cairo Criminal Court sentenced El-Adly to seven years in jail for embezzling LE2 billion from the interior ministry between 2000 and 2011. He has yet to begin his sentence and was recently declared a fugitive by the ministry.
After the prison sentence was issued, El-Adly filed an appeal. However, he lost the appeal on Tuesday due to his failure to appear at the Cairo Criminal Court, with his lawyer claiming he is receiving treatment in a Cairo hospital. According to the lawyer, the former minister's health is deteriorating.
On Monday, the interior ministry notified the Central Cairo Prosecution Authority in an official letter that "security forces were not able to arrest El-Adly to serve the seven-year sentence against him because he was not at his house in Sixth of October City."
According to Bakri, "the Interior Ministry's failure to arrest El-Adly leaves no doubt that someone has helped him to flee."
"It seems that El-Adly fled his house a long time ago and the fact that he did not show up in the Criminal Court today [Tuesday] to discuss his appeal against the seven-year verdict leaves no doubt that someone had helped him flee his house," said Bakri.
Bakri said that he has filed a request with Ali Abdel-Aal, the speaker of parliament, seeking an explanation from current Interior Minister Magdi Abdel-Ghaffar. The MP said that he has asked Abdel-Ghaffar to take all necessary steps to arrest El-Adly as soon as possible.
Bakri told journalists that he has also demanded that parliament's Defence and National Security Committee hold an urgent meeting to discuss how El-Adly was able to flee his house and "who might have helped him escape arrest."