Egypt crisis: Shafiq condemns presidential rival Mursi (BBC) British Broadcasting Company) 3 June 2012 Last updated at 16:39 GMT)
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Egyptian presidential hopeful Ahmed Shafiq, a former PM under jailed
ex-leader Hosni Mubarak, has accused his Islamist rival of harassing
Mr Shafiq, who was speaking as protests continued in Cairo over the
outcome of Mubarak´s trial, said the Muslim Brotherhood aimed to
create a "sectarian" state.
About 1,000 anti-Mubarak activists remain in Cairo´s Tahrir Square,
angry that he and his two sons were acquitted of corruption and six
former police chiefs also escaped punishment.
Mubarak himself was sentenced to life in prison after being found
guilty of complicity in the killing of protesters during last year´s
Arab Spring uprising.
But many activists were disappointed that the court did not sentence
the former president to death.
Mr Shafiq faces an election run-off against the candidate of the
socially conservative Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammed Mursi, on 16-17
June. Mr Shafiq was Mubarak´s last prime minister and a former air
At a televised news conference on Sunday he accused the Brotherhood
of trying to blackmail the Christian Copts and prevent them from
exercising their voting rights.
He also said the Brotherhood was "terrifying" voters in a bid to
influence them, "especially those who voted for me in the first
Meanwhile, the public prosecutor has confirmed that an appeal will be
launched against Mubarak´s life sentence.
The BBC´s Yolande Knell in Cairo says the new legal proceedings will
only inflame the crowd´s anger.
One demand of the protesters was also answered by the public
prosecutor, however: there will also be an appeal against the
acquittal of the former police commanders, who had been accused of
involvement in last year´s killings of unarmed protesters.
Protesters see the success of Ahmed Shafiq in the first round of the
election as proof that the allies of the former president still have
huge influence, our correspondent says.
Thousands protested overnight in Cairo and other cities after the
sentences were handed down. Many chanted "down with the military
rule" - the slogan of last year´s revolution.
Mubarak, 84, and his former interior minister Habib al-Adly were
jailed for life for complicity in the killing of protesters. But
there was widespread anger over the acquittals.
Mohammed Mursi visited Tahrir Square on Saturday night and later told
reporters that, if elected, he would retry Mubarak and former regime
officials suspected of involvement in killing protesters.
"The best guarantee to reach our goals is for the revolution to
continue," he said.
Mubarak is the first former leader to be tried in person since the
start of the Arab Spring in early 2011.
Announcing the verdicts, Judge Ahmed Refaat said Mubarak and Adly had
failed to stop security forces using deadly force against unarmed
Mubarak and his two sons, Alaa and Gamal, were acquitted on separate
charges of corruption.
But his sons will remain in detention as they are to be charged with
stock market manipulation.
Mubarak, who ruled the country from 1981 to 2011, had faced a
possible death sentence over the killing of about 850 protesters.
The first leader toppled during the Arab Spring was Zine al-Abidine
Ben Ali of Tunisia, who was found guilty in absentia of drugs and gun
charges in July.
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was killed by rebels in October.
Yemen´s Ali Abdullah Saleh received immunity from prosecution after
handing over power in November. (© BBC MMXII 06/03/12)
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