Aides to Egypt’s former interior minister Habib El-Adly – currently being retried on charges of killing protesters during the 2011 uprising – have taken aim at diplomat and Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradei, who they accused of inciting violence during the uprising and being an emblem of a US-led conspiracy.
Osama El-Marassy, one of El-Adly’s aides in the central security sector, said that he personally met with ElBaradei on 28 January 2011 near Al-Istiqama Mosque in Giza, where thousands of protesters had gathered, and asked him to calm the situation down.
El-Marassy then told the court that ElBaradei raised a two-fingered victory sign to the masses, which he said was a sign for them to start burning shops near the mosque.
Another of El-Adly’s former aides, Hassan Abdel-Rahman, from the state security sector, also levelled accusations at ElBaradei in Monday’s court session, alleging that the prominent liberal was among the main figures who called for and participated in the 2011 protests – proof of what the aide says is a US conspiracy.
Abdel-Rahman also claimed that ElBaradei is in favour of destroying the identity of the Arab nation state and dividing the region on an ethnic and sectarian basis.
Last week’s court session saw the defendants’ lawyers arguing that the uprising was a US-funded plot against the regime of longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
Mubarak, his two sons Alaa and Gamal, ex-interior minster El-Adly and six of his aides are being retried for complicity in the deaths of around 850 unarmed protesters during the 2011 uprising which ended Mubarak’s 30-year rule.
Mubarak and El-Adly were found guilty on the same charges in June 2012 and sentenced to life in prison. But the conviction was overturned in January 2013 due to procedural failings and a retrial began in April 2013.
The defendants in the retrial have denied that the interior ministry used live ammunition to disperse the protesters, stressing that only tear gas and water cannons were used.
ElBaradei – former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and a 2005 Nobel Peace Prize winner – was a symbol of the anti-Mubarak protest movement in the years before the 2011 uprising.
He was also a key figure in the 30 June 2013 protests leading to the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and became vice president in the interim cabinet following his removal. However, he resigned a month later in protest against the violent dispersal of two pro-Morsi protest camps which left hundreds dead, according to government figures.
Rights groups have put the death toll at more than 1,000.
His move drew criticism from pro-regime figures who accused him of being a traitor and a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood.
He is currently in self-imposed exile in Austria.
Meanwhile, Mubarak and his two sons are expected to address the court on Wednesday.
Source : Ahram online