MP Sadat to be investigated For 'leaking draft NGO law to foreign embassies'

Gamal Essam El-Din , Sunday 13 Nov 2016

The outspoken MP denies the accusations

File photo of MP Anwar El-Sadat. (Photo: Al-Ahram)

The Egyptian parliament's General Committee said on Sunday that it has reviewed a complaint filed against MP Anwar El-Sadat – the former head of parliament's human rights committee – which accused him of leaking the government-drafted NGO law to a number of foreign embassies in Cairo.

Sources say Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali lodged the complaint in person against El-Sadat with parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Al on Saturday.

Wali accused El-Sadat of exploiting his position as chairman of parliament's human rights committee in the first legislative season (January-September 2016) to leak the NGO draft law to a number of foreign embassies.

Sources revealed that the General Committee – composed of the parliament speaker, two deputies, and the chairmen of 25 committees – will launch an investigation into El-Sadat, who would be referred to the ethics committee if found guilty.

El-Sadat faced accusations from parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Al in the first legislative season that he had exploited his position as chairman of the human rights committee to serve the agenda of foreign embassies in Cairo, particularly the US and British embassies, as well as Western human rights organisations that are "hostile" to Egypt, such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

El-Sadat resigned as chairman of the committee in August.

In response, El-Sadat told reporters Sunday that "it is so easy for foreign embassies in Cairo to gain access to the draft NGO law from different sources."  

"I did not leak the draft copy of this law because it has never been sent to parliament," Sadat told reporters.

El-Sadat added that he will be questioned first by parliament's internal bureau – including the speaker and his two deputies – and that this bureau has the right to decide whether he should be referred to the ethics committee.

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