Egypt Independent

Tuesday’s papers: Alaa Mubarak’s detention extended, former president’s trial location remains vague



Al-Ahram, a state-owned newspaper, starts off Tuesday’s news with a report on Alaa Mubarak, son of former President Hosni Mubarak, being detained for 15 days pending investigations into his wealth. The report states that after six-hour interrogations, counselor Assem al-Gohary, head of Illicit Gains Authority (IGA), ordered Alaa's detention following accusations he collaborated with his father and brother, Gamal, in acquiring  an illicit fortune. The paper adds that Alaa faces charges of collaborating with Saad Abdallah, former head of the Capital Market Authority, also for that purpose.

“All my fortune is 180 million dollars!” reads a headline on Al-Akhbar’s front page, quoting Alaa Mubarak during his questioning in Tora Prison on Monday. The state-run paper reports in detail all the accusations brought against Mubarak’s sons, who categorically denied abusing their father's authority and asserted that their fortunes were acquired through legal means. Both Alaa and Gamal signed statements in Arabic, English and French during their interrogations to reveal the details of their bank accounts inside and outside Egypt, says the paper.

In a related context, the same paper publishes on its third-page that an anonymous judiciary source said: “Mubarak’s trial is expected to take place in Sharm el-Sheikh court located behind the hospital where he has been receiving medical treatment for three months.” The source went on to say that trial’s location will guarantee Mubarak’s safety during his transfer from hospital to court and prevent violence that could take place if the trial took place in Cairo.

Other sources quoted by the paper said Sharm el-Sheikh courtrooms were equipped three days ago, which ensures the probability that Mubarak is not going to be tried in the capital. However, Al-Ahram hints that Mubarak’s trial will soon take place in Cairo and reports that Cairo Appeals Court has already received the documents of the former president’s case, which is expected to be overseen by Judge Adel Abdel Salam Gomaa, who ruled in the case of former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly. At the end of the article, the paper backs away from its initial report, saying negotiations between the interior minister and the head of the appeals court have not yet determined the final date and location of Mubarak’s trial.

Alongside its coverage of the location of Mubarak’s trial, Al-Ahram sheds light on the memo of Antiquities Minister Zahi Hawass to Prime Minister Essam Sharaf demanding that the Antiquities Ministry have authority over the Oruba Palace, the former presidential residence of Mubarak. Hawass demanded the formation of a specialized committee to assess the contents of the Oruba Palace, as well as other presidential palaces and rest houses of former senior officials, to determine if they contain antiquities.

The state-run daily Al-Gomhurriya reports on the same news, adding that Hawass requested Antiquities Ministry control of the Child’s Museum, which used to be known as the Suzanne Mubarak Museum for Children. He pointed out that Sharaf and the cabinet gave initial approval to both requests, the paper says.

At the bottom of Al-Dostour’s front page, it is reported that the head of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Shenouda III, has refused supervision by any state entity, including the Central Auditing Agency as mentioned in the unified law for places of worship. The independent paper quoted a church source as saying, “The pope is waiting to look over the new law, once it has been drafted, when he returns back home.”

In the same article, the paper states that doctors decided to extend Shenouda's medical treatment period in the US to ensure his recovery. “The pope suffers from acute pain in his kidney and liver, and he was advised to have complete rest to avoid any complications,” sources told Al-Dostour. “His return has not yet been set.”

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