Mubarak denies abuse of power

Updated: 2011-04-12 07:11

(China Daily)

Twitter Facebook Myspace Yahoo! Linkedin Mixx

CAIRO - In the first remarks since his dramatic resignation, former president Hosni Mubarak denied that he used his position to amass wealth and property during three decades in power, and issued an emotional defense of his legacy.

The statement, broadcast on Sunday at the end of a turbulent weekend that saw a deadly military crackdown on protesters, only stoked more public anger in the midst of Egypt's turbulent transition to a more democratic system.

Related readings:
Mubarak denies abuse of power Prosecutor summons Mubarak in graft probe
Mubarak denies abuse of power Media revives doubt over Mubarak's health
Mubarak denies abuse of power Mubarak, his family banned from leaving Egypt
Mubarak denies abuse of power 
Egypt prepares for a new era after Mubarak

In the prerecorded audiotape, the 82-year-old Mubarak spoke with a tone of authority more in keeping with his past power than his current situation. He said he had agreed to "authorize" an investigation of his finances and promised to sue all those who smeared his reputation.

As the ruling military council comes under increasing public pressure for its management of the post-Mubarak transition, the ex-president's first words were a reminder that he still has a grip on the country's mood.

Shortly after the speech was aired, Egypt's prosecutor general announced he had issued orders summoning the ex-president and his two sons for questioning on the embezzlement allegations. The scope of the investigation was also widened to include the crackdown on protesters that killed an estimated 300 people.

The pan-Arab news channel Al-Arabiya, which broadcast the speech, said it was recorded on Saturday, a day after demonstrators gathered in huge numbers in Cairo's Tahrir Square to demand that the military council that took over from Mubarak launch an investigation into his wealth.

The speech seemed to be as much about preserving his dignity as about denying the accusations against him.

"I was hurt very much, and I am still hurting - my family and I - from the unjust campaigns against us and false allegations that aim to smear my reputation, my integrity, my (political) stances and my military history," Mubarak said.

The speech came as hundreds of protesters remain barricaded in Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the uprising that forced Mubarak from office on Feb 11 after 18 days of mass demonstrations.

Friday's protest by tens of thousands was the biggest since Mubarak's ouster. Despite constitutional amendments to allow free elections and other steps toward a freer political scene, many in the anti-Mubarak movement are skeptical of the military's pledges to meet all demands.

Trust between the military and the reform movement suffered a serious setback when soldiers stormed their protest camp in the pre-dawn hours on Saturday, killing at least one person and injuring 71 others.

That increased calls for the resignation of the head of the military council running the country, Defense Minister Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, a Mubarak appointee. It also spurred protesters to retake Tahrir Square.

Associated Press


Share your China stories!

Foreign readers are invited to share your China stories.

Art auctions

China accounted for 33% of global fine art sales.

Waiting for drivers' seat

Lack of sponsorship appears to be why Chinese drivers have yet to race in a Formula 1 event

Panic buying of salt
Earthquake Hits Japan
NPC & CPPCC sessions