CAIRO, Egypt (AP) – The nephew of Egypt’s late President Anwar Sadat received a one-year jail sentence Tuesday for defaming Egypt’s armed forces, court officials and his aide said.
Talaat Sadat, 52, was convicted in a military court on the outskirts of Cairo of defamation after he said in television interview earlier this month that unnamed Egyptian generals had masterminded his uncle’s 1981 assassination.
An outspoken member of parliament, Talaat Sadat had accused the government of prosecuting him for political reasons. His trial has been exceptionally fast, his comments were broadcast on Oct.4, and the U.S. State Department has said it is concerned that his prosecution violated freedom of expression.
Talaat Sadat was taken into custody immediately after the verdict, said his aide, Mohsen Eid.
Within minutes of his sentencing, Sadat’s supporters shouted outside the court: “This is injustice!” “This is unlawful!”
Media were not allowed into the courtroom. Sadat had pleaded innocent to charges of “spreading false rumors and insulting the armed forces.”
In interview with a Saudi TV channel, he said there had been an international conspiracy behind his uncle’s assassination, and th
conspirators included some of Anwar Sadat’s personal guards, Egyptian generals, as well as the U.S. and Israel. “No one from the special personal protection group of the late president fired a single shot during the killing, and not one of them has been put on trial,” Sadat told Orbit television.
The day after the broadcast, Sadat was stripped of his parliamentary immunity and his trial began on Oct. 11. President Sadat was shot dead by Islamic militants in the Egyptian army during a military parade in Cairo on Oct. 6, 1981. The soldiers were opposed to Sadat’s landmark peace treaty with Israel of 1979.