FILE - Patrick George Zaki
CAIRO – 16 February 2020: Egyptian top prosecutor Hamada al-Sawi on Sunday ordered continuing investigations with Egyptian researcher Patrick Zaky, who was arrested once he arrived at the Cairo International Airport from Italy over disseminating fake news.
Preliminary investigations reveal that Patrick faces accusations of spreading false news and statements to distort social peace, inciting people to protest without obtaining a permit, seeking to overthrow the regime through incitement and promoting principles and thoughts that lead to changing the basic principles of the constitution, according to media reports.
He also faces charges of managing and using an online account for the purpose of disturbing public order, harming national security and promoting the commission of a terrorist crime and the use of violence.
Zaky, who was studying at the University of Bologna in northern Italy, was arrested on February 7th, months after his house was raided by police forces, according to state’s news agency MENA. Police, in September could seize papers inciting against the Egyptian state from his home.
The Egyptian Interior Ministry last week said Zaky is an Egyptian citizen, denying earlier reports that he is an Italian national. It added that the prosecution decided to detain him for 15 days pending investigation.
Zaky is a researcher in the University of Bologna, in northern Italy. The Italian authorities have reportedly called for releasing him, but did not claim he is an Italian citizen.
Later, Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal slammed the recent remarks of the European Parliament President as he called for Zaky to be freed immediately.
Abdel Aal, in an official statement circulated by local media on Friday, called David Sassoli’s remarks unacceptable interference in the internal affairs of Egypt and an abuse of the Egyptian judicial authority and justice procedures.
CAIRO – 16 February 2020: Egypt's House Speaker Dr. Ali Abdel Aal has expressed his utter rejection of the statement issued by the President of the European Parliament on the status of an Egyptian citizen.