File Photo: MP Anwar El-Sadat (Al-Ahram)
Egypt MP Anwar El-Sadat told reporters Saturday he feels optimistic that he will not be referred to the parliament's ethics committee to be investigated for "leaking a draft NGO law" to foreign embassies in Cairo.
Sadat said that he was already questioned by parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Aal for two hours last Thursday.
"Abdel-Aal was very gentle and he only sought to learn the truth in a very friendly atmosphere," said Sadat.
Sadat, the nephew of late President Anwar El-Sadat and former head of parliament's human rights committee, said "I was surprised [to learn] that Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali had accused me of leaking a government-drafted NGO law to the Dutch ambassador in Cairo."
"I told speaker Abdel-Aal and his two deputies during the questioning session last Thursday that I have never met with the ambassador of Holland in Egypt," said Sadat, adding that "I said I know a lot of foreign ambassadors in Egypt but I have never met with the ambassador of Holland and I do not even know what his face looks like."
Sadat has also denied an accusation that he forged the signatures of some colleague MPs in support of two independent draft laws on NGOs and transitional justice.
"I told speaker Abdel-Aal that other MPs faced the same accusations and when these were proven false you [Abdel-Aal] apologized for them," said Sadat, adding "I said 'why should I do this?' My personal life shows that I am the last one to resort to rigging practices."
Sadat, chairman of the Liberal Reform and Development party, said speaker Abdel-Aal did not allow the questioning session to be recorded in audio-visual terms.
"Speaker Abdel-Aal also prevented other MPs from attending the questioning session," said Sadat.
Sadat also revealed that he had asked Abdel-Aal to withdraw his complaint against his assistant Khaled Heikal.
"Heikal is my personal assistant who was arrested last week after speaker Abdel-Aal filed a complaint against him with the prosecutor-general, accusing him of libel, slander and insulting [Abdel-Aal] personally on his [Heikal's] Facebook account," said Sadat, adding that "I admitted that my assistant Heikal made a big mistake by insulting the parliament speaker, but I also implored speaker Abdel-Aal to intervene personally so that Heikal can be released."
"Speaker Abdel-Aal was badly hurt by Heikal's insults, but I hope from a humanitarian point of view that the speaker will intervene so that Heikal can be released very soon and return to his family," said Sadat.
After he was arrested last week, Heikal was placed into custody pending investigation by supreme state security prosecutors.
Heikal faces charges of libel and slandering parliament speaker Abdel-Aal in comments on his personal "Facebook" account, regarding a recent court ruling which had ordered that the two Red Sea islands Tiran and Sanafir remain in Egyptian, rather than Saudi, hands.