Italian Police Arrest Egypt's Former Minister Opposed to Sisi Regime

Published August 3rd, 2018 - 06:21 GMT
Mahsoub (L) was reportedly detained in the city of Catania, Italy [AFP]
Mahsoub (L) was reportedly detained in the city of Catania, Italy [AFP]

The Italian authorities have detained Mohamed Mahsoub, an Egyptian former minister who served under the deposed democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi, and a figure in the Egyptian opposition against the regime of Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi.

The former Minister of Legal and Parliamentary Affairs under Morsi was reportedly detained in the city of Catania on the east coast of the island of Sicily.

Mahsoub said in a post on his Twitter account that the Italian police refused to disclose the charges against him, pointing out that the arrest was made at the request of the Egyptian authorities. 

The Italian authorities are yet to issue a formal comment.

In the message, Mahsoub said: "The Italian police held me for three hours near the city of Catania at the request of the Egyptian authorities to extradite me, refusing to disclose the charges against me". 

Mahsoub, who left to France following Sisi's coup against President Morsi in 2013, is wanted by the Egyptian regime on corruption charges that Egyptian opposition activists say are fabricated.

In 2016, Interpol put Mahsoub on its red list, after he was sentenced in Cairo to prison on charges of fraud, which the ex-minister denies.

Egyptian activists and journalists have warned on social media of the danger of his extradition back to Egypt, where scores of Sisi's opponents face the death penalty.

Mahsoub was a leader in the moderate Islamist party Al-Wasat, composed mainly of former members of the Muslim Brotherhood. 

He was appointed Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs in August 2012 during the administration of President Mohammed Morsi, who is aligned with the the Muslim Brotherhood. 

Mahsoub was also a member of the constituent assembly in charge of drafting the new Egyptian constitution but resigned from his post in December 2012.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

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