World Bulletin / News Desk
The family of jailed Muslim Brotherhood leader Khairat al-Shater on Tuesday denounced allegations by former army chief and presidential candidate Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi that al-Shater had threatened to summon foreign "militants" to fight the Egyptian army.
In a press statement issued on Tuesday, Al-Shater's family described al-Sisi's statements concerning the Brotherhood's second-in-command – made during a televised interview on Monday – as "pure fiction" and "blatant lies."
In his first television interview since he was officially declared a presidential candidate, al-Sisi – who led the ouster of elected president Mohamed Morsi last July – said that a "certain Brotherhood leader" had threatened to bring foreign militants from Afghanistan, Syria and Libya to fight the Egyptian army.
When pressed by the interviewers, al-Sisi hinted that al-Shater was the Brotherhood leader in question.
"We demand [al-Sisi] provide audio or video evidence [of the meeting]," said al-Shater's family.
Al-Shater was arrested days after Morsi – himself a senior Brotherhood leader – was ousted by the army following protests against his presidency.
Al-Shater currently faces multiple criminal charges, some of which are violence-related.
"These [foreign] militias might have helped [al-Shater] when he was being arrested," according to the family's statement, which demanded that al-Shater be allowed to respond to the allegations.
Egyptian authorities have unleashed a massive crackdown on the Brotherhood since the bloody dispersal last summer of two protest camps staged by Morsi supporters in which hundreds of demonstrators were killed.
Al-Shater had been the Brotherhood's first presidential nominee in the 2012 elections. He was, however, later disqualified, after which the Brotherhood decided to field Morsi.
During Morsi's one-year tenure, al-Shater repeatedly denied media allegations that he was secretly pulling the strings behind the scenes.
Al-Shater served a combined 12 years in prison during the rule of longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted following Egypt's January 2011 uprising.
Since Morsi's ouster, Egypt's military-backed authorities have rounded up thousands of the Brotherhood's senior and mid-ranking members, hundreds of whom remain in detention.Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Mayıs 2014, 12:36