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Al Baradei leaks cause stir in Egypt

Self-exiled dissident slams politicians and media figures for releasing private phone calls

Image Credit: Supplied
Mohammad Al Baradei
Gulf News

Cairo: Leaked phone conversations, allegedly made by self-exiled Egyptian dissident Mohammad Al Baradei, have triggered a furore in the country. Pro-government private television station Saada Al Balada Saturday night aired the conversations purportedly made shortly after the 2011 uprising that forced long-time president Hosni Mubarak to resign.

In the purported conversations, Al Baradei brands ex-head of the Arab League Amr Moussa and winner of Nobel Prize for Chemistry Ahmad Zuweil, both Egyptians, as “deceitful”.

Al Baradei, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, also lashes out at a military council that ruled Egypt after Mubarak’s toppling for more than a year. Moreover, he rebukes some media personalities.

The leaks come less than three weeks before the sixth anniversary of the anti-Mubarak revolt in which Al Baradei played a major role.

Al Baradei condemned the leaks.

“Private phone conversations of political opponents wiretapped, doctored and aired on TV. Fascism rearing its ugly head yet again,” he said in a tweet.

In the leaked conversations Al Baradei allegedly chats separately with his brother Ali; the then army chief of staff Sami Anan; and writer Ezz Eddin Shukri.

Egyptian business tycoon Naguib Sawiris, known for his antigovernment views, slammed the leaks. “What caught my attention and surprised me about the Al Baradei leaks is, how can an army chief of staff be wiretapped so easily?” Sawiris wrote on his Twitter page.

However, some government loyalists grilled Al Baradei over the content of the purported calls.

“Al Baradei wants to ruin Egypt,” said Member of Parliament Fayez Barakat in a press statement. “What he does every now and then is aimed at harming the Egyptian state.”

There was no official comment in Cairo.

In August 2013, Al Baradei resigned from his post as vice-president, protesting a deadly security crackdown on two camps by backers of deposed Islamist president Mohammad Mursi.

Shortly later, Al Baradei left Egypt and has since been living in Austria.

Al Baradei, a former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, has been the focus of frequent criticism in pro-government media since his departure from Egypt.

He has often criticised the Egyptian government via Twitter for alleged human rights violations.