World Bulletin / News Desk
Reports about an alleged pledge by presidential hopeful Hamdeen Sabahi to try former army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi have sparked a heated controversy in Egypt.
"Such statements would help Egyptians make their minds about the presidential candidates," Tarek al-Kholi, a member of al-Sisi's presidential campaign, told Anadolu Agency on Saturday.
Sabahi was allegedly caught on tape vowing in a meeting with a group of youth supporters to bring al-Sisi to court as part of measures to apply transitional justice in Egypt.
A news portal later published the statements, which stirred up a hornet's nest inside the presidential campaign of the leftist potential candidate.
Sabahi's campaign came out immediately to deny the allegations, saying that the leftist politician did not make any comments about al-Sisi's trial.
The Youm7 portal, however, confirmed that Sabahi had made the comments about the trial of al-Sisi, the man who led the army to unseat elected president Mohamed Morsi in July following mass protests against his presidency.
"I don't treat al-Sisi as a criminal, but I plan to bring him to court as part of a specific concept," the newspaper quoted Sabahi as allegedly telling his supporters.
"When I do this, I aim to heal wounds without opening up new confrontations," Sabahi added, according to the news portal.
Al-Sisi's campaign has not officially commented on the recording.
Al-Sisi and Sabahi, a main opponent of Morsi during his single year in power, are the only candidates in Egypt's next presidential elections, which are scheduled for May 26-27.
Presidential propaganda is due to kick off on May 3, but this is almost the first time one of the two candidates vows to bring the other to court.
The presidential elections are part of a three-step transitional roadmap adopted by the army upon Morsi's ouster on July 3.
Since Morsi's overthrow, hundreds of people were killed in confrontations between supporters of the ousted president and security forces, which climaxed on August 14 when the authorities forcibly evicted thousands of Morsi's supporters camping out in two squares in Cairo and Giza.
Hundreds of people were killed in the eviction of the two sit-ins, which has turned into a symbol of the deadly nature of Egypt's political conflicts ever since.Last Mod: 26 Nisan 2014, 12:16