Egypt: Italy releases ex-minister wanted by Al-Sissi

An Egyptian former minister, linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, narrowly escaped extradition to Egypt after he was arrested by Italian authorities in the city of Catania Tuesday.

Italian authorities said they received an extradition request from Egypt.

But Mohamed Mahsoob, who served as minister of legal and parliamentary affairs under democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi, left the police station on Wednesday.

Mahsoob, upon his release took to Twitter to say: “The Italian police held me for three hours near the city of Catania at the request of the Egyptian authorities to extradite me, refusing to disclose the charges against me”.

Italian authorities are yet to issue a statement on the case.

The former minister was appointed in 2012 in the cabinet of Egypt’s first democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi. President Morsi was removed in 2013 in a coup led by the then Defense Minister, AbdelFattah al-Sissi.

Mahsoob sought exile in France right after the coup. Egyptian authorities sentenced him to prison on corruption, attack on state property, arson and rape charges.

Morsi’s ally had denied the charges, claiming “he is paying the price of his positions to support the legitimacy in Egypt,” Middle East Monitor (MEMO) notes.

Thousands of Muslim Brotherhood members and associates of the ousted President are languishing in prison. Hundreds of bigwigs of the movement including President Morsi himself stood trials and some were sentenced to the death penalty.

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