Former Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik meets a lawyer in Cairo –

Former Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik meets a lawyer in Cairo


CAIRO (Reuters) – Former Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik met with his lawyer at a Cairo hotel on Sunday, the lawyer said, after his family said he feared he had been "kidnapped" after his arrival. from the UAE after announcing his intention. to run for president of Egypt

PHOTO OF THE ARCHIVE: Former Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik speaks during an interview with Reuters at his residence in Abu Dhabi on February 6, 2013. REUTERS / Jumana El Heloueh / Photo File

"I had a meeting with Shafik an hour ago at one of the hotels in New Cairo and confirmed his health," lawyer Dina Adly wrote on Facebook.

"He confirmed that his health was good and that he was not subjected to any investigation," he wrote.

Adly did not say if Shafik was free to leave the hotel, which he did not identify by name.

Shafik, a former air force chief and government minister, has been seen by critics of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as a potential challenger for the former military commander, who is expected to run for a second term. next year.

The details of what happened to Shafik are not clear. He made his surprise announcement on Wednesday about running for the 2018 elections in the United Arab Emirates, where he has based with his family.

Shafik's family said that the authorities of the Arab Emirates took him out of his house on Saturday and took him on a private plane back to Cairo. A Reuters witness said Egyptian authorities escorted him in a convoy from the Cairo airport.

"We do not know anything about him since he left home yesterday," Shafik's daughter, May, told Reuters. "If he was deported, he should have been able to go home, not just disappear, we consider him kidnapped."

The family and the lawyer said they planned to lodge complaints with the prosecutor's office about Shafik's whereabouts. The authorities of the United Arab Emirates confirmed that he left the Emirates but did not give details.

A source at the Interior Ministry said: "We do not know anything about Shafik, we did not arrest him and we did not receive any request from the prosecution to arrest him or bring him back."


The abrupt departure of Shafik from the United Arab Emirates came weeks after Lebanese officials accused Saudi Arabia of meddling by forcing Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri resigns, holding him against his will.

Saudi Arabia denied these accusations, but the case sparked a crisis and pushed Lebanon back into the center of a regional struggle between Riyadh and its Sunni Gulf and Iranian allies.

Sisi is an ally of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia and its supporters say that it is key to the stability of Egypt. Critics say it has eroded the freedoms obtained after a 2011 uprising that toppled former leader Hosni Mubarak and imprisoned hundreds of dissidents.

Sisi has won the support of the Gulf states and has presented itself as a bulwark against Islamist militants as, as commander of the army, he led the overthrow in 2013 of former President Mohamed Mursi of the now banned Muslim Brotherhood.

PHOTO OF THE ARCHIVE: Flyers of the Egyptian presidential candidate and former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq are seen on the ground outside the headquarters of his campaign in Cairo, Egypt, May 28, 2012. REUTERS / Amr Abdallah Dalsh / Photo from file

Shafik, who narrowly missed an offer in 2012 against Mursi, has joined several low profile candidates who say they will run, although some believe they have no chance against Sisi.

After four decades in the military, Shafik promoted his military experience as one of his strengths in the 2012 vote.

But he fled to the United Arab Emirates to escape corruption charges in June 2012. He dismissed the charges for political reasons and was removed from the airport's watch lists last year.

In the United Arab Emirates, his family said he had 24-hour security at his home and informed the authorities about his whereabouts. Shortly after his announcement on Wednesday, he claimed he had been blocked. Although his family later said that he had been badured that he could travel.

"Apparently, Shafik had to tell the Emiratis all his moves since he arrived in 2012, but this time he did not do it for unknown reasons, maybe he thought they would not let him go," said a diplomat in the region. "That's why it was blocked at the first time."

But his daughter said that she had informed the UAE courtesy that she planned to travel to France.


Shafik's second statement about not being able to travel was made on the Qatar-based channel Al Jazeera, criticized by the United Arab Emirates and Egypt as a spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood, a charge he denies.

His daughter said that the video had leaked to Al Jazeera and that it had only been done as a precaution. But it unleashed a wave of Egyptian pro-government criticism and talk shows.

State-owned newspapers called Shafik "the fleeing flight marshal" and said that his lawyer had made deals with views that sympathized with the banned Muslim Brotherhood to help with Shafik's campaign. They did not provide any evidence.

Two private lawyers filed complaints against Shafik before the prosecutor in Egypt due to the transmission of Al Jazeera.

An Egyptian judicial source said on Saturday that Shafik did not face criminal cases in Egypt. He was acquitted, or his charges were dropped, in several cases in the past, including corruption.

Sisi has not yet announced his own intentions for the election, saying he would follow the will of the people after presenting his achievements in the next two months.

His supporters dismiss criticism of human rights abuses and say security measures are needed in the face of an Islamist insurgency that has killed hundreds of police and soldiers.

But his government is fighting to crush the insurgency in the northern Sinai region and has also enacted painful austerity reforms in the last year to revive the economy, which critics say has eroded his popularity.

Additional reports from Mostafa Hashem in Cairo and Aziz El Yaakoubi in Dubai; Written by Patrick Markey; Edition by Matthew Mpoke Bigg

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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