Suleiman involved in ‘Battle of the Camel’, says El-Awa

Ahram Online, Tuesday 10 Apr 2012

Presidential hopeful El-Awa accuses former Mubarak aide Suleiman of involvement in the Battle of the Camel, calls on him to be barred from presidential race

(Photo: Al-Ahram)

Presidential hopeful Mohamed Selim El-Awa used a television appearance on Monday to accuse Mubarak’s former intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman, of involvement in the notorious ‘Battle of the Camel’ during Egypt’s 18-day uprising.

Suleiman -- now a presidential contender -- became vice president four days into the revolt that led to president Hosni Mubarak's ouster from power.

The Battle of the Camel took place at the height of the popular revolt on 2 February. Pro-Mubarak thugs stormed Tahrir Square on camels and horses, killing 11 protesters and injuring several hundred.

According to El-Awa, Suleiman's position during the time of the battle makes him as responsible as Mubarak himself. He also added that there was a 90 percent chance a "disenfranchisement law" would be issued by parliament and approved by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), making both Suleiman and Ahmed Shafiq ineligible to run for president.

The constitutional and legislative affairs committee of the People's Assembly agreed Tuesday on the proposed "disenfranchisement law" proposed by the proposals and complaints committee on Sunday. The law would forbid members of the former regime, who worked in a decision-making capacity during the final five years of its reign, from participating in Egypt's political life for ten years. However, the law is yet to be approved by the ruling SCAF, which previously rejected such a law.

El-Awa also declared there would be a rally on Friday 20 April against Suleiman's presidential bid.

On Monday afternoon, supporters of Mortada Mansour, one of the defendants in the Battle of the Camel lawsuit attempted to break into the courtroom while the hearing was still taking place.

Mansour's lawyers reportedly had to form a human chain around the courtroom's doors to prevent supporters from forcing their way into Monday's session.

Several other Mubarak-era figures are caught up in the Battle of the Camel lawsuit, including former speaker of the People's Assembly (parliament's lower house) Ahmed Fathi Sorour, former speaker of the Shura Council (parliament's upper house) and Secretary-General of the NDP Safwat El-Sherif, former minister of manpower Aisha Abdel-Hadi and former head of the Egyptian Federation of Trade Unions Hussein Megawer MP, who all entered a plea of not guilty at Monday's hearing.

He added that several presidential hopefuls, including himself, Amr Moussa, Ayman Nour, Hisham El-BastawisiAbdel-Monem Abul-FotouhAbul-Ezz El-Hariri and Hamdeen Sabbahi, were considering rallying behind one "pro-revolution" candidate, but they would make a decision after the final list of confirmed candidates is released.

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