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Habib al-Adly, 'Egypt's executioner', arrested after eight-month disappearance Open in fullscreen

Robert Cusack

Habib al-Adly, 'Egypt's executioner', arrested after eight-month disappearance

Habib al-Adly was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2012, but his conviction was overturned [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 5 December, 2017

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The former minister was convicted twice on embezzlement charges but absconded from court in April, allegedly with help from his former colleagues at the interior ministry.

Egypt's former interior minister under President Hosni Mubarak was arrested in Cairo on Tuesday morning for failing to hand himself over to the authorities, two security sources told reporters.

Habib al-Adly, 79, was sentenced to seven years in prison on embezzlement charges in April, but later fled into hiding in May with accusations of state collusion.

"Adly was allowed to go free by the interior ministry, even though the court sentenced him to seven years in prison," said Mostafa Bakri, an independent MP.

Bakri told Egypt's al-Ahram newspaper he had "no doubt" he had been given help to flee the country, possibly to Saudi Arabia.

Egypt's interior ministry reported not being able to arrest Adly, weeks after his conviction, because he was "not at his house in Sixth of October City".

Egypt's longest serving interior minister, Adly had originally been sentenced to life in prison for conspiring to kill protesters and embezzlement in May 2012, but that conviction was overturned and he was released from custody in March 2015.

 

Egypt's longest serving interior minister, Adly had originally been sentenced to life in prison for conspiring to kill protesters and embezzlement in May 2012, but that conviction was overturned and he was released from custody in March 2015.

During that trial, Hussein Abou Eissa, the prosecuting lawyer, labelled Adly with the nickname "Egypt's executioner".

Amnesty International connected Adly's ministry with the deaths of 846 protesters in 2011, accusing officials of using violent repression to counter mass anti-government protests.

Only a small number of police officers and soldiers have faced trial for killing civilians, while several thousand protesters remain in prison to this day.

At the time of Adly's 2015 release from prison, one Egyptian social media user tweeted: "Today Habib al-Adly is released and has returned to his home, while thousands of peaceful protesters are kept away from their homes and families as they languish behind prison bars."

Several witnesses at Adly's original trial accused him of personally ordering the release of dangerous criminals to violently suppress protests.

The court head testimony that Adly had authorised the systematic use of torture and ordered the forced disappearance of political prisoners. Numerous witnesses also spoke of the routine physical and psychological abuse experienced by prisoners.

Egypt's national media reports Adly will attend an appeal session before the Court of Cassation, the highest court in Egypt, on January 11 2018.

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