London, Asharq Al-Awsat- In reply to the [Egyptian] director of public prosecution’s allegations of money laundering, the secretary general of the International Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) Ibrahim Munir stresses that he will appeal against the security and public prosecution if the case goes to court.
Downplaying the potential impact of the allegations, Munir told Asharq Al Awsat that he has been residing outside Egypt, in Britain, quite happily and in a dignified manner for 30 years, and that the last time he visited Egypt was during the 1987 elections. He says that the only impact of this referral has been on the morale of his children, because they, as he says, are like “green grass” and are not used to such accusations.
Munir who is also the MB’s official spokesperson in the West says that when he was 17 years old he stood before a military court because of his belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood. He explains that the public prosecution does not have in the charge sheet any evidence or witnesses that he participated in laundering money or collecting money abroad.
Munir wonders how he can collect money in Britain for the benefit of the Muslim Brotherhood or of the children in Gaza, while everything in this country is wisely and carefully monitored.
The MB member does not rule out the possibility of going to the European Court of Human Rights or the international organizations to file a complaint against the Egyptian authorities, as he considers the decision to refer him to court as a haphazard decision that has been adopted without understanding and without evidence. However, he links this to the circumstances of the court case. He says that the theater in Egypt is being prepared for extending the term of the Emergency Law, and perhaps the court case of the International Organization for the Muslim Brotherhood will strengthen this tendency.
Munir, 73, says that he seldom attends Islamist conferences because of the condition of his health, and recently he underwent a heart operation. He expresses his surprise that the referral decision was issued despite the fact that months earlier the official organizations of the Justice Ministry had rejected the charge of money laundering. He calls on the official organizations to present a single proof of his guilt. He says that he was very pleased when he heard of the decision to refer him to the Supreme State Security Court, because this decision is not disturbing, and it is a proof of failure.
With regard to the charge sheet in which he is accused of facilitating the operations of collecting donations in Europe, and sending these donations to Dr Osama Suleiman, proprietor of a bureau-de-change company, through a bank, Munir says: “‘For us God sufficeth, and He is the best disposer of affairs [Sura Al Imran, from Verse 173].’ If I have sent money, let them bring me the check I signed or that has been cashed. All these are mere words without a single proof of guilt.” He wonders: where are the funds? Have they become guardians of what takes place in Britain? Where are the witnesses?
Munir says that describing him as “on the run” is silly, because he has been in Britain for 30 years, and they know where he lives. He has not run away from Egypt, no sentences have been issued against him and his slate is clean. Munir wonders: “If the referral sheet calls him on the run, how did the regime gather information about him, and ascertained the evidence presented in the investigation record, and where did they get this? Also they describe Sheikh Awad al-Qarni, whom they confused with Sheikh Aaidh al-Qarni, as being ‘on the run;’ this is shameful of the public prosecution, which is supposed to be accurate, because Sheikh Awad al-Qarni is living in Saudi Arabia; moreover, from what is he running?” Munir says: “It seems that the shortage of hashish on the market is due to the fact that some officials and departments are monopolizing its use, which shows in their haphazard and senseless behavior.”
Sheikh Munir rejects the idea that he should authorize a lawyer or any one to represent him in court; he says: “I do not accept to be represented, or to delegate anyone to defend me in a court case that does not have any evidence against me, and that is constructed at the whim of the security officials,” as he describes the court case since its beginning in June 2009.
With regard to whether he will move to sue any of the departments or the regime at any international or regional organizations, such as the European Court of Human Rights, Munir explains that he will think about this when the time comes; however, he does not wish to defame his country abroad because of a minority that manage the country senselessly. He considers that such a court case primarily defames Egypt, and denounces the regime, but this is done at the expense of the people and the country. He adds that he might think of doing that if his complaint and his appeal against the organizations that caused the issuing of such assumption of guilt are not successful.
It is worth noting that the director of public prosecution issued last Wednesday, 21 April, a decision to refer five members and leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic callers to the Supreme State Security Court-Emergency in what is known as the case of the International Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood, which started in June 2009, reference 404 Supreme State Security. Four of the charged are Sheikh Wajdi Ghoneim, Sheikh Awad al-Qarni, Dr Ashraf Abdel-Ghafer, and Ibrahim Munir, all of whom are outside Egypt, and the fifth charged is Osama Suleiman, proprietor of a bureau-de-change company. The public prosecution issued a decision exonerating 28 other individuals, who were included in the case, at the forefront of whom is Dr Abdul-Munim Abu al-Futuh, former member of the Muslim Brotherhood Guidance Bureau.
With regard to his relations with Dr Muhammad Badi, general guide of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Munir says: “I am completely convinced that the selection of Dr Badi as general guide of the Muslim Brotherhood Group is a very good choice. Dr Badi together with the brother members of the Guidance Bureau are, God willing, indeed very suitable for the current stage. I have pledged my allegiance to him by telephone immediately after his selection.” He adds: “I am not a spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe, but the Muslim Brotherhood members abroad always approve what the group concludes in Egypt out of their trust in it, and of their appreciation of the correctness of their selection.”
With regard to his contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood at home, Sheikh Ibrahim Munir says to Asharq Al-Awsat: “I always speak to them via the telephone. My contacts never cease. I know that their telephones are tapped, and everything we say is recorded, but we do not say anything that violates the law. Our conversation usually is about public affairs.”