Al-Masry Al-Youm owner Salah Diab and son released on bail
Salah Diab
 

The owner of Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper Salah Diab and his son were released from jail Wednesday afternoon on bail, pending investigations into charges of illegal arms possession.

Diab was released on LE50,000, and his son Tawfik on LE10,000 bail.

The prosecution resumed its interrogation of the pair after their detention was renewed for 15 days on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day on Wednesday, the Cairo Criminal Court amended the freeze order issued on Diab’s assets. It now only applies to the New Giza Company, which is owned by Diab and others.

Several reports were submitted to the public prosecutor in 2011 that accused the company’s owners of acquiring state agricultural land at cheap rates, using it for tourist resorts and selling it at a profit.

The prosecution ordered the freezing of Diab’s assets last Saturday, along with several other New Giza partners, including Mohamed al-Gammal — whose daughter Khadiga is married to former President Hosni Mubarak’s son Gamal — and former Giza Governor Yehia Saad.

Diab was arrested last Sunday along with his son during a police raid in the early hours of the morning. The prosecution then ordered their detention pending investigation for possession of illegal arms that were allegedly found in their house.

Diab’s arrest prompted a media backlash and raised concerns the move would scare investors and affect an already struggling economy.

The Industries Union issued a statement on Sunday saying Diab’s arrest in handcuffs would frighten investors. Although the union expressed confidence in Egypt’s judiciary, it pleaded with the government to uphold Egypt’s image.  

Talk show host Ibrahim Eissa also criticized the manner in which Diab was arrested, saying masked men broke into his bedroom and took him away in handcuffs, leaking pictures of his arrest to the media. Eissa suggested this was so the state could send a strong message regarding arms possession.

“When you get into a feud with state bodies, you become nothing. The state is saying, whether you’re a politician, a media personality, a parliamentarian, a businessman or a regular citizen, ‘I can crush you, I can insult you.’ This is the message,” he said.

Talk show host Lamis al-Hadidi also criticized the move, saying it would be damaging to the economy.

“We don’t need anyone to conspire against us, we conspire against ourselves,” she said. “We shoot ourselves in the foot with each act where we don’t calculate the political cost.”

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