Field Marshal Tantawi to be investigated for Maspero killings

Ahram Online, Wednesday 3 Oct 2012

Egypt's former de facto leader Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi, former chief of staff Sami Anan and other senior military figures to be investigated for killing of 24 people at Coptic protest

Former field Marshal Hussein Tantawi (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's former military rulers are to be investigated for their role in the killing of protesters during a Coptic Christian protest at Maspero on 9 October 2011.

Twenty-four complaints, submitted to the public prosecutor by relatives of the dead, were transferred to the justice minister on Wednesday.

A judge will investigate former leader of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi; former chief of staff, Sami Anan; former military police head, Hamdy Badeen, and current military police head, Ibrahim El-Domiaty, for their role in the deaths.

Coptic Christians, alongside some Muslims, were protesting an attack on a church in Aswan when they were confronted by the military near the state radio and television building at Maspero in central Cairo. At least 24 protesters were killed and 329 injured in the subsequent clashes.

Despite video and eyewitness testimonies showing military involvement in the killings, including footage of tanks running over protesters, the SCAF conducted its own investigation into the events and exonerated the army of wrongdoing.

SCAF member General Mohamed El-Assar insisted the army personnel were unarmed and came under attack by protesters. 

Moreover, a number of protesters were summoned to appear in front of the military prosecutor, with one, Alaa Abdel-Fattah, detained for several weeks after being accused of stealing army weapons.

Relatives of the victims, who filed the complaints on Saturday, said it had been 11 months since the massacre and no one had been held accountable. The complaints accuse the military of killing protesters with live ammunition and running them over with tanks.

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