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Egypt state TV officials referred to disciplinary court in airing of wrong Sisi interview

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Tuesday 4 Oct 2016
People walk across a street where Maspero, Egypt
People walk across a street where Maspero, Egypt's state tv and radio station is located in Cairo (AP)
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Egypt’s administrative prosecution referred on Tuesday officials from the state-owned Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU) to disciplinary court at the State Council on charges of negligence and malpractice in the airing of an old interview with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi by mistake.

The TV channel aired an interview late September by the American Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) with El-Sisi dated last year, instead of PBS’s most recent interview with El-Sisi conducted in September.

According to the prosecution statement on Tuesday,  the officials referred to court include the head of the news department and the state TV correspondent at the presidency, though the remaining officials are unnamed.

The unnamed officials work at the news department, the news bulletin department, the correspondents'' department and the general department for news exchange.

After the airing of the interview, the head of state TV sacked the head of the news department Mostafa Shehata, who is among the officials referred to court.

"The Radio and Television Union apologises for the grave mistake made by the news department," the union said in a statement.

The prosecution released a statement saying that the airing of the wrong interview “negatively affected the state’s prestige domestically and internationally and enraged Egyptians at home and abroad,” and urged speedy action against those responsible.

This year's PBS interview was conducted by host Charlie Rose while last year’s interview was hosted by the network’s chief foreign affairs correspondent Margaret Warner.  

El-Sisi gave the mis-broadcast interview in New York while he was attending the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly.

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