A pro-Muslim Brotherhood TV channel broadcasted an audio recording on Thursday of what they alleged to be conversations between top military leaders after the ouster of Mohamed Morsi, discussing how to manipulate the legal status of Morsi’s detention.
The recording is alleged to be of General Mamdouh Shaheen, legal advisor to the defence minister, speaking on the phone with key security officials including Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim. The recording includes only the words of the man alleged to be Shaheen, not those of his interlocutors by phone.
Following mass protests against his rule in June 2013, Mohamed Morsi was removed from power on 3 July and detained in an unknown location.
Morsi was later transferred to Torah prison and several charges were filed against him by prosecutors, including allegations of espionage and of responsibility for the deaths of protesters during protests at the Itihadiya presidential palace in 2012.
During the audio recording, the man alleged to be Shaheen discusses possible legal justifications for keeping Morsi detained in a building that allegedly belongs to Egypt’s navy in Abu Qir in Alexandria.
In the recording, the man says that “the espionage and Itihadiya cases will be in jeopardy unless a back-dated declaration defining the place where Morsi was first detained as a special prison is issued.”
Egyptian law allows the interior minister to declare any place a special detention area, if the ministerial decision to do so is published in the official state gazette.
According to the recording, which was broadcast by the apparently Turkey-based Mekammeleen channel, the conversants arranged to build a makeshift prison for the prosecution lawyers and Morsi’s lawyers to inspect as the place where the former president was detained after his ouster.
Mohammed Abdel-Aziz, a human rights lawyer and plaintiff in the Itihadiya case, told Ahram Online that the leaked recordings, which he is convinced are fabricated, do not have any effect on the procedures of the case. "Those audios cannot be used to suspend the case. It is a crime to have those recordings in the first place," he explained.
Egyptian authorities have said the recording is fabricated. Reuters' Aswat Masriya cited a military source as saying that "highly advanced technologies that are used in filmmaking are now used for dubbing voices." The source insisted that "enemy intelligence apparatuses" are behind the recording.
Al-Ahram Arabic website reported that the prosecutor-general has started extensive investigations into the source of the recordings.
In a statement, the prosecution stated that the Muslim Brotherhood have been "fabricating audios and videos using advanced technology" due to the "state of despair among their leaders.” “They aim to influence the judges looking into claims against Brotherhood members" read the statement.