Mubarak-era interior minister testifies at jailbreak trial, says no orders to open prisons in 2011

Ahram Online , Monday 29 Oct 2018

Habib El-Adly (L) was sacked on 29 January 2011 during the popular uprising, since then he has been taken to court in several cases on killing of protesters and corruption charges. In 2013, he was sentenced to three years in prison in the case known in the media as “the conscripts' enslavement case." 2014.

Former interior minister Habib El-Adly testified in court on Sunday that neither he nor any Ministry of Interior officers had issued orders to withdraw police from the streets or to open prisons to create a security vacuum during the 25 January 2011.

Speaking during a retrial of ousted president Mohamed Morsi on charges of breaking out of prison during the revolution, the former interior minister said there was a “clear conspiracy” to destroy the Egyptian state in January 2011, according to Al-Ahram Arabic website.

El-Adly, who served as Egypt's minister of interior from 1995 and until he was sacked by Mubarak on 29 January 2011, was requested to testify in the case by the defendants’ defence.

"On 28 January we learned about several marches across the state that are to take place in big numbers, so I gave my orders to secure these marches with unarmed personnel," El-Adly said.

"We were surprised by some armed foreign elements infiltrating the marches, and if we knew about that I would have changed my plans entirely," he said.

"We also had information on the cooperation between Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood for years, but their cooperation on deposing the regime in Egypt started in 2009," he alleged.

“The vehicles armed with cannons infiltrated the eastern borders and had started attacking police departments, prisons and state security buildings, which prove there was a pre-set plan to destroy the state.”

The former interior minister referred to information from a 2009 meeting in Beirut between Hamas leader Khaled Mashal and Khaled Farouk, a leading Muslim Brotherhood member and former MP, which he said concerned deposing the Egyptian regime.

El-Adly alleged that Khaled Mashal had also handed over fake passports to members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, to allow them to enter Egypt during the revolution.

On the cutting off of landlines and of the internet during the revolution, El-Adly affirmed that the decision was taken in coordination between security bodies with the aim of cutting means of communication between the members of the Muslim Brotherhood organisation, and to protect Egyptian citizens.

The former interior minister said the decision was taken at a meeting held on 27 January at Smart Village, along with other decisions to secure the demonstrations.

In June 2015, a Cairo criminal court sentenced Morsi and other top Brotherhood figures, including Mohamed Badie, Saad El-Katatni and Essam El-Erian, to death on charges of "damaging and setting fire to prison buildings, murder, attempted murder, looting prison weapons depots and releasing prisoners" while escaping from the Wadi Al-Natroun prison on the outskirts of Cairo during the 2011 uprising.

In November the 2016, the cassation court accepted the defendants' appeal and ordered a retrial.

The case includes a total of 129 defendants, who were sentenced to death or prison sentences in the initial verdict.


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