Egyptian authorities arrest former PM Kandil

25th Dec 2013

Authorities in Egypt have apprehended the former premier who had served under ousted President Mohammed Morsi. He was previously sentenced to one year in prison for failing to implement a court order dating back to 2011. 

Egyptian state media and security forces confirmed on Tuesday that Hisham Kandil, the country’s former prime minister, had been arrested. He was wanted for failing to follow a 2011 court order relating to the renationalization of a textile firm.

“Security forces managed to arrest Hisham Kandil…in carrying out a court order issued against him. He was caught in a mountain area with smugglers trying to flee to Sudan,” Egypt’s interior ministry said in a statement.

President Mohammed Morsi, who was ousted in a military-backed coup in July , had appointed Kandil to the position of prime minister in the summer of 2012.

In 2011, an Egyptian court had reversed a deal struck under ousted leader Hosni Mubarak which had aimed to privatize a textile firm. The court then found Kandil guilty of failing to renationalize the textile firm in question and handed him a one-year prison sentence while he was serving as prime minister in April 2012.

Deadly bombing in Egypt’s north

The arrest on Tuesday came amid heightened crackdowns on ousted President Morsi’s Islamist political backers, the Muslim Brotherhood.

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, at least 14 people died and over 100 injured in a massive explosion in the northern city of Mansour. The suicide bombing caused part of the city’s five-storey police headquarters to collapse. While no claim of responsibility was made, the interim government appeared to believe the Muslim Brotherhood had carried out the attack.

The interim prime minister reportedly denounced the Islamist group shortly after the bombing, according to Egyptian government spokesperson Sherif Showky.

“Prime Minister (Hazem) Beblawi has declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization,” Showky told the Middle East News Agency (MENA) early on Tuesday.

kms/jm (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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