Egypt’s Prosecutor-General Hisham Barakat has ordered an investigation into US President Barack Obama and other world leaders over spying allegations.
The complaint was made by lawyer Ahmed Abdel-Salam against Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Abdel-Salam referred to reports from several Egyptian media outlets stating that Egypt’s General Intelligence apparatus had arrested two spy rings accused of sending reports about Egypt to foreign intelligence agencies during the country’s 2012 presidential elections.
The lawyer, who demanded that Egyptian authorities include the world leaders on Cairo International Airport’s watch list, added that the alleged spying amounts to “clear violations of international agreements and treaties and is considered a declaration of war against Egypt”.
Abdel-Salam also called on Egypt to cut its relations with these countries and put on trial any Egyptian citizen who cooperates with them or provides them with information, in accordance with article 82 of the Egyptian penal code. He also called for an end to all cooperation between the Egyptian army and these countries, as well as a ban on their ships passing through the Suez Canal.
The world leaders are not expected to be questioned in person.
The US first came under global attack in 2013 after leaks revealed by Edward Snowden – a computer professional and former employee at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) – showed that the US had employed mass surveillance technology to gather information.
Snowden’s disclosures included the revelation that the Americans had tapped the mobile phone of Merkel.
Relations between Washington and Cairo slumped following the military’s ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last summer, following massive protests against him.
Last October, the US withheld a large chunk of its annual $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt to express its displeasure at a violent crackdown on Morsi’s supporters.
Washington, however, has since treaded carefully by refraining from calling Morsi’s removal a coup, in a bid to maintain strategic ties with its key Middle East ally.
Source: Ahram Online