Another media war erupted between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Armed Forces after the Brotherhood published alleged military leaks on Thursday.
Audio recordings of a purported phone conversation between Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) members Mamdouh Shahin and Osama al-Gendy were circulated on the Islamist Mekameleen (We shall continue) channel and the pro-Brotherhood Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr satellite channel.
In the conversation, Shahin tells Gendy that the criminal charges against ousted President Mohamed Morsi could be dismissed, because he was illegally detained by the Armed Forces between July 3 and July 7, 2013 as the military announced his deposition from power.
After massive protests calling for the end of Morsi’s rule on June 30, 2013, the military stepped in to announce his ouster and the appointment of an alternative government on July 4. Since then, Morsi and a number of his aides were held incommunicado at an undisclosed military premise. He only emerged publicly months later, appearing in court to face several charges in different cases, most notably an espionage case and a case of killing protesters near the Ettehadiya Presidential Palace during anti-regime protests in 2012.
Shahin went on to argue that to circumvent dropping the charges, the minister of interior should issue a decree declaring that at the time, Morsi was detained at an official ministry-affiliated prison, as his detention in a military facility was illegal.
The leak also shows that the head of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s office ordered both Shahin and Gendy to take measures to prevent the criminal cases against Morsi from being dismissed. Sisi was minister of defense at the time.
The military, however, has firmly refuted the validity of the conversation, according to local media websites Masrawy and DotMasr.
Military sources denied the authenticity of the recordings, Masrawy reported, and insisted that skilled technicians fabricated the conversation with the aid of a foreign intelligence apparatus. The source added that these type of communications between military officers are impossible to be tracked or interfered with.
Circulating these recordings was an attempt to destabilize the country, the military source argued.
Another military source dismissed the information revealed in the conversation, insisting there was nothing incriminating in the recording, reported DotMasr.
The same source added that the military intelligence would investigate how these leaks were fabricated.
By late Friday afternoon, the prosecutor general had launched an investigation ito the leaks, according to the state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram.
The prosecutor issued a statement accusing the Muslim Brotherhood of using their media connections, with the support of foreign backers, to fabricate visual footage and fake telephone conversations to disseminate on “dubious television stations and websites” to harm the nation.