Mubark's NDP secretary El-Sherif organised "Battle of the Camel," says prosecution

Zeinab El Gundy, Thursday 14 Jul 2011

Leaked prosecution testimony fingers former NDP secretary general Safwat El-Sherif as the mastermind of the attacks on Tahrir Square protesters on 2 Feb

riding camels
Pro-government demonstrators, below, some riding camels and horses and armed with sticks, clash with anti-government demonstrators, above, in Tahrir square, the center of anti-government demonstrations, in Cairo, Egypt Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011 (Photo: AP)

Al Ahram's Arabic portal has published leaks of the general prosecution’s investigations into the “Battle of the Camel,” an incident for which 25 public personalities including NDP leaders, former ministers and members of parliament stand accused of involvement in deliberate attacks and murders of protesters at Tahrir Square on 2 and 3 February.

Among the accused in the case: Former NDP secretary general Safwat El-Sherif, former minister of manpower Aisha Abdel-Hadi, businessmen Ibrahim Kamel, Mohamed Abu El-Anin, Youssef El Khatab , Abdel-Nasser El-Gabri and Youssef Khatab.

The prosecution sent all its investigations to court on Wednesday. However, the criminal court has not yet determined a date for the trial.  

According to leaked evidence and eye-witness testimony, former secretary general of the NDP Safwat El-Sherif masterminded the pro-Mubarak rallies which reportedly included thugs and criminals. El-Sherif is suspected of giving orders by phone to NDP members to organize protests at Mustafa Mahmoud Square and the Maspero area before heading to Tahrir Square and attacking protesters there.

The alleged plan to end the sit-in at Tahrir Square by any means possible was justified by the notion that protesters there were traitors working for foreign parties. 

Protester testimonies assert that there had been snipers posted on rooftops, as well as on the 6th of October bridge, who opened fire on the demonstrators. Additionally, witnesses claim that the thugs captured that day at Tahrir Square were the same men hired by NDP members during the previous elections.

Those captured thugs reportedly confessed that they were hired to attack the protesters in exchange for meals, Tramadol painkillers and LE50 to LE500 each. The men were also promised apartments and LE5000 each if they actually managed to end the sit-in. 

According to the leak businessmen Ibrahim Kamel and Mohamed Abu El-Anin financed the attack.

Two witnesses from the Nazlat Al-Samman area of Giza stated that they saw NDP members Abdel-Nasser El-Gabri and Youssef Khatab mobilizing camel- and horse-owners to head to Tahrir Square on 2 February. The two witnesses added that El-Gabri and Khatab later called them and told them to testify on their behalf in the case. 

One of the witnesses, who works as a journalist at Al Ahram, claimed in the investigation that she asked Aisha Abdel-Hadi , the former minister of manpower, if she ordered attacks on protesters at Tahrir Square. Abdel-Hadi responded by saying that protesters deserved not only attacks, but death. 

Another witness who works as a parliamentary reporter for Al Shorouk newspaper claimed that Fathi Sorour, former speaker of the parliament, had a meeting with reporters on the morning of 2 February at which he predicted pro-Mubarak protests across the country that day. The reporter added that during the meeting, Sorour’s office manager came to tell him that protesters from the Sayeda Zeinab district, which he represented, had arrived at the parliament.

Witnesses also claimed they had seen famous lawyer and potential presidential candidate Mortada Mansour, his son Ahmed and nephew Wahid Saleh distributing money to thugs, adding that Mansour was himself giving orders. 

Other witnesses said they saw officers from Al-Marg police station, also accused in the case, as they mobilized thugs to the square. The media expert assigned to the case testified that clips showing Mortada Mansour, Ibrahim Kamel and Mohamed Ouda inciting against Tahrir protesters are authentic. 


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