Strong Egypt Party head Abul Fotouh detained pending investigation into spreading false news

Ahram Online , Thursday 15 Feb 2018

File photo: Former Egyptian presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh (AFP)
File photo: Former Egyptian presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh (AFP)

Egypt’s High State Security Prosecution ordered on Thursday the detention of the head of the Strong Egypt Party Abdel-Moneim Abul Fotouh for 15 days pending investigations into charges including spreading false news aiming to harm national interests and being of a leading member of an illegal group, referring to the Muslim Brotherhood.

According to the prosecution, Abul Fotouh has been transported to a prison hospital upon his own request after he suddenly felt ill during questioning.

The questioning was attended by five of Abul Fotouh’s lawyers, including former presidential candidate and rights lawyer Khaled Ali.

Abul Fotouh, who was a presidential candidate in 2012, was arrested on Wednesday at his home in Cairo hours after he returned from a visit to London, where he gave interviews to the Qatari-based Al-Jazeera channel and Al-Araby TV channel in which he criticised government policies.

Deputy head of Strong Egypt Mohamed El-Kassass was also arrested and detained earlier this week for joining a terrorist group and plotting to topple the Egyptian state as part of the so-called "Makamaleen case."

On Thursday, Strong Egypt's political office announced the temporary suspension of the party's political activity and called for a general assembly to discuss the party's future. 

Abul Fotouh, 66, had been a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood since his university years in the late 1970s. He reached the Brotherhood’s guidance bureau before he left the group in 2011 over organisational disagreements.

Egypt designated the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation shortly after the ouster of Islamist President Morsi in July 2013 over a series of terrorist attacks linked to the group.

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