Egypt imposes gag order on Morsi's espionage case, officer's assassination

ElSayed Gamal Eldeen, Saturday 23 Nov 2013

Egypt's prosecutor-general issues a media ban on several cases Saturday, including Morsi's espionage charges and the death of Colonel Mabrouk

File photo:Former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi (Photo: AP)

Egypt's public prosecutor imposed a media ban Saturday on coverage of certain cases, including those involving espionage charges against deposed president Mohamed Morsi and the killing of Lieutenant Colonel Mohamed Mabrouk.

The ban also includes the sectarian attack in Al-Warraq that killed four in October and the death of Police General Nabil Farag during clashes with armed groups in Giza on 7 October.

Morsi, who faces a separate trial for inciting violence against protesters, is accused of collaborating with Palestinian Islamist group Hamas to orchestrate his escape from Wadi Al-Natroun prison during the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak in 2011, destroying police records and killing security personnel.

Colonel Mabrouk was responsible for investigating espionage charges against the ousted president as well as a number of jihadist cells. He was shot dead near his home on 17 November. Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, a jihadist group inspired by Al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack.

On Friday, a high-ranking government source told Al-Ahram's Arabic website that following Mabrouk's death, the government has increased pressure on the Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim to speed up investigations into security breaches. The source claims Ibrahim was given a deadline of January.

Police and military personnel have been targeted by armed groups following the ouster of Morsi in July and the deadly dispersal of a large pro-Morsi camp in August, during which hundreds of protesters were killed.

A failed assassination attempt on Ibrahim was carried out in September when a car bomb exploded near his convoy. Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis also claimed responsibility for this attack.

On 31 October, Egypt's 50-member committee, which is currently amending the suspended 2012 constitution, initially approved an article prohibiting the censorship of official media - including state-owned newspapers, TV, and radio, except in conditions of war or public mobilisation.

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