Egypt's State Information Service (SIS) issued a statement on Thursday saying that the authorities deny foreign media reports that former lawmaker and political activist Mostafa El-Naggar has been arrested after his recent conviction on insulting the judiciary charges, or "forcedly disappeared."
The SIS said the authorities say El-Naggar has been a fugitive since December 2017.
"Dr. Mostafa Ahmed Mohammed El Naggar was and still is a fugitive evading a 3 years prison sentence he received in the 2014 case known as "the case of insulting the judiciary" on 30 December 2017.
The SIS explained that although "the defendant appealed against the verdict before the Court of Cassation, however, he should have surrendered himself to the authorities to implement the ruling at least one day before the hearing of the appeal [which took place on 15 October 2018] in accordance with the law.
In December 2017, a Cairo criminal court sentenced El-Naggar, a dentist by practice and the founder of the post-2011 liberal Justice Party, along with 19 other defendants to three years in prison for insulting the judiciary through publications and statements to TV and radio stations, as well as social media.
On Monday, the Court of Cassation rejected appeals by El-Naggar and 19 co-defendants in the case which involved 25 high profile figures - both Islamist and non-Islamist - including ousted president Mohamed Morsi and Nasserist journalist Abdel-Halim Qandil.
The court ruled that El-Naggar along with the 19 defendants sentenced to the 3-year-sentence in the case must each pay EGP 1 million in compensation to the judges club.
The court's verdict is final.
The SIS said " the date of the appeal was set for October 15th and the session was held as planned without the after-mentioned person turning himself to the authorities which means it was held in his absence" The statement read.
"After taking all the above into careful consideration SIS stresses that all the competent authorities and agencies categorically deny that Dr. Mostafa Ahmed Mohamed Al Naggar was arrested by security forces or that he turned himself in for that matter."
"SIS also stresses that all the rumors and allegations of his enforced disappearance are false and that he is still a fugitive willingly evading serving the sentence issued against him. Any allegations insinuating otherwise are merely baseless claims attempting to evade the implementation of a judicial rule," the state information service concluded.