Tuesday’s papers: The fall of Safwat al-Sherif, security for Mubarak interrogations

The fall of Safwat al-Sherif, one of the most prominent figures of former President Hosni Mubarak's toppled regime, dominates the headlines of Tuesday’s newspapers.

“The end of the Safwat al-Sherif legend,” reads the top headline in the independent daily al-Dostour. It is reported that al-Sherif, former National Democratic Party secretary general and Shura Council speaker, underwent extensive investigations last Monday for profiteering and abusing his political authority during the reign of ousted President Hosni Mubarak. Al-Sherif arrived at Egypt's Illicit Gains Authority in his black Mercedes car surrounded by bodyguards who tried to hinder the media from photographing him.

Mohamed Assam al-Gohary, assistant to the Interior Minister, presided over investigations that accused al-Sherif and his family of owning 11 villas, eight apartments in Cairo and Ain Sokhna, and a tourist compound on the northern coast — all by illicit means. The paper adds that al-Sherif’s son owns more than ten companies and six luxury cars. 

However, the former senior official categorically denied all accusations brought against him and his family, confirming that all their assets are acquired through legitimate businesses and legal means.

Al-Sherif will return for questioning on Tuesday, 12 April on charges of hiring thugs to violently attack and disperse anti-Mubarak protesters on 2 February.   

Egypt's state-run newspaper Al-Ahram reported on the Interior Ministry's handling of the subpoenas issued by Egyptian Attorney General Abdel Meguid Mahmoud to the Mubarak family. Mubarak and his sons are suspected of squandering public funds and illegally accumulating wealth, as well as involvement in a conspiracy to kill protesters.

The paper provides details on security measures taken by Interior Minister Mansour al-Essawy to ensure the safety of Mubarak and his two sons, Gamal and Alaa, during their anticipated appearances for questioning. Al-Ahram quotes al-Essawy as saying, “If the former president and his sons refuse to respond to the summons, the attorney general will take necessary legal measures against them.”

Al-Ahram quotes the British newspaper The Guardian’s comment on Mubarak’s audio message broadcasted on Sunday. It states that the ex-president ignored accusations that he was involved in the killings of more than 360 protesters.

On a different note, Al-Shorouk features a report on nominating Ambassador Mostafa al-Fiqqi as the head of the Arab League. The term of current Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa will end on 15 May.

Al-Fiqqi served as Mubarak’s information secretary from 1985 to 1992 and was formerly a prominent member of NDP.

The independent paper reports that Minister of Foreign Affairs Nabil al-Arabi said that al-Fiqqi’s long diplomatic experience makes him the most capable candidate for holding the office. Al-Arabi is also confident that “al-Fiqqi’s nomination would be approved by all Arab nations and represents a new phase in ongoing Arab cooperation, which is one of Egypt’s priorities after 25 January revolution.”

At the bottom of the state run Al-Gomhurriya’s second page, it is reported that the Legislative Ministerial Committee held a meeting for discussing and amending the law that pertains to the right of Egyptians living abroad to participate in elections. The meeting was attended by Ministers of Education, Justice, Foreign Affairs and Labor, who agreed on allowing Egyptian expats to cast their votes in the upcoming parliamentary and presidential polls. The state-run paper says that the proposed amendment will be discussed by the cabinet in its next meeting.

Egypt's papers:

Al-Ahram: Daily, state-run, largest distribution in Egypt

Al-Akhbar: Daily, state-run, second to Al-Ahram in institutional size

Al-Gomhurriya: Daily, state-run

Rose al-Youssef: Daily, state-run

Al-Dostour: Daily, privately owned

Al-Shorouk: Daily, privately owned

Al-Wafd: Daily, published by the liberal Wafd Party

Al-Arabi: Weekly, published by the Arab Nasserist party

Youm7: Weekly, privately owned

Sawt al-Umma: Weekly, privately owned

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