Egyptian authorities investigate leaked recording

AP News
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Posted: Dec 05, 2014 10:31 AM

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's Prosecutor General's office said on Friday it is launching an investigation into a recording allegedly depicting a debate among senior military and security officials over forging trial evidence against ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

The recording, aired late Thursday on an Islamist-allied satellite channel, allegedly dates back to the period immediately after Morsi's July 2013 ouster when he was held in a military facility before being formally charged with multiple crimes under the civilian court system. It allegedly depicts a senior military legal adviser consulting with other officials, including Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim, on how to build a strong case against Morsi. He recommends retroactively reclassifying the military facility as a civilian site so that Morsi's lawyers couldn't challenge the legality of his detention.

The recording circulated widely on social networking sites and sparked a wave of uproar. It was not possible to verify its authenticity.

"This is a very dangerous issue, they will consider his detention void and then he will be set free," said a man identified by the "Makamaleen" TV network as Maj. Gen. Mamdouh Shahine, aide to then-Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sissi — who has since been elected president.

The prosecutor's office called the recording "fabricated" and accused the Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi's group, of using "media arms ... to fabricate footage and telephone conversations using advanced technology and attribute them to public figures and state men ... aiming at causing disruption and destabilizing society."

The prosecutor warned of, "broadcasting, publishing, carrying, exchanging false news or fabricated conversations that could spark discord." It warned that such acts would be "punishable by law."

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood group is now branded a terrorist organization. Its members have been imprisoned, detained and killed in a sweeping crackdown conducted under the banner of "combating terrorism."