Mubarak's interview in Al-Watan paper is 'fabricated': Lawyer

Ahram Online, Sunday 12 May 2013

The recently-published interview with the former president is completely made up, according to lawyer Farid El-Deeb

Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak inside a cage in a courtroom at the police academy in Cairo April 13, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

The lawyer of Hosni Mubarak has denied that a recent interview with the deposed president, published in privately-owned Egyptian daily Al-Watan, took place.

Farid El-Deeb told Ahram Online on Sunday that the interview was a fabrication.

The interview with Mubarak by journalist Mohamed El-Sheikh attracted mass attention as the first time that the deposed leader had spoken to the press since he left power in February 2011.

Mubarak is currently facing a retrial on charges related to the deaths of protesters during the January 2011 uprising, after a successful appeal against a first conviction.

“The whole interview is a lie; I talked to the president [Hosni Mubarak] and he affirmed that he never spoke to the journalist,” said El-Deeb, who also argued that the photos attached to the interview prove nothing.

The pictures show the journalist in front of a plane and inside an ambulance. 

“Who knows where these pictures were taken,” said El-Deeb. Of a third picture showing Mubarak being moved on a stretcher, he commented: “There are more than 5,000 pictures of that moment.”

El-Sheikh stated in the article that the interview took place in the waiting room of the court where a session in Mubarak’s trial was held on Saturday, although he did not specify whether it took place before or after the session.

In the interview, Mubarak abstained from judging his successor, President Mohamed Morsi, saying it was too early to judge him.

The journalist further quoted Mubarak as saying he felt sorry for the poor in Egypt, adding that nothing hurts him more than seeing the lack of security in the country, and “all his achievements for the country shut down.”

Mubarak is also reported as expressing his concerns over the $4.8 billion IMF loan package that Egypt’s government is currently negotiating, saying that its harsh conditions will be a threat to the economy.

"History will judge, and I’m still certain of the fairness of the coming generations towards me," added Mubarak.

El-Sheikh could not be reached for comment.         

Editor of Al-Watan Magdy El-Galad, a harsh critic of the Muslim Brotherhood, is currently facing charges of publishing false reports that could disturb public peace, alongside Al-Watan reporter Ahmed El-Khatib

El-Galad and El-Khatib were charged over a recent report that a militant Islamist cell arrested last year had compiled a hit list comprising 100 major Egyptian figures.

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