Egypt military accuses presidential hopeful of committing crimes

Posted January 24, 2018

Egyptian former Chief of Staff Sami Anan was arrested Tuesday on charges of announcing Presidential bid without obtaining permits from armed forces and committing forgery to be included in the upcoming race.

Anan, who announced his candidacy on Saturday, was seen as a potential threat to the re-election of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. Under el-Sissi, links to the Brotherhood are grounds for prosecution.

The President of Egypt is elected using the two-round system. But his candidacy is also at risk. The next appeal hearing is scheduled for March 7.

"All options are open, including quitting the race", he said.

Anan led the Egyptian Army from 2005 to 2012, he was also the deputy head of the Supreme council of the Armed Forces which has ruled Egypt after January 25 Revolution.

A spokesman said in a televised statement that the army had summoned Anan because his announcement was meant to drive a wedge between the armed forces and the Egyptian people.

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Annan was also arrested by the military Tuesday, but his campaign made no mention of that.

"I think it is very unlikely he would be released on bail pending investigations", Elshall said while at the office of the military prosecutor.

The military said Annan was still formally in the armed forces' reserves and thus ineligible to vote.

"The armed forces could not allow itself to ignore the blatant legal violations committed by the aforementioned which constituted a gross breach of the rules and regulations governing the service of armed forces officers", said the statement.

In a statement by the armed forces posted on social media, the military also accused Annan of "openly inciting" against the military and seeking to drive a wedge between it and the public.

He was detained by Egyptian authorities on Tuesday over alleged violations of military law.

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It was not clear what the incitement allegation referred to.

He blamed in his video statement Egypt's ongoing problems on "wrong policies" and calling on the country's institutions not to take sides in favour of any candidate. But it likely would have been embarrassing for el-Sissi to face a candidate from within Egypt's powerful military establishment. Authorities have also silenced most critics in the media, restricted rights groups and effectively banned street protests.

Although he was ousted as chief of staff by Mr Morsi, Mr Anan has been attacked by the media as a candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood.

A top aide to Egypt presidential hopeful Sami Annan tells the AP the former chief of staff has been arrested by the military.

Earlier this month, Ahmed Shafiq, former President Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister, withdrew his presidential candidacy saying he was "not the best choice for managing the affairs of state in the coming period". Former lawmaker Mohammed Anwar Sadat previously announced he was dropping out of the race, partly out of fear for the safety of his supporters.

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