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Former prime minister of Egypt arrested

Hisham Kandil, appointed by ousted president Mohammed Morsi, reportedly apprehended as he tried to flee to Sudan

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil (photo credit: YouTube screen capture)
Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil (photo credit: YouTube screen capture)

The former prime minister of Egypt was arrested on Tuesday in connection to a jail sentence he received for not re-nationalizing a textile factory when he was in office.

Hisham Kandil, who was appointed by ousted president Mohammed Morsi, was apparently trying to escape the country when he was captured, the Egyptian Interior Ministry said in a statement cited in a Reuters report.

“Security forces managed to arrest Hisham Kandil, former prime minister, in carrying out a court order issued against him,” the statement said. “He was caught in a mountain area with smugglers trying to flee to Sudan.”

Kandil was appointed prime minister in July 2012.

In July 2013 an appeals court endorsed a ruling that dismissed Kandil from office and sentenced him to a year in prison over a case concerning a state-owned textile company that was sold to a private investor. Morsi, who was president at the time, was removed by a military coup later the same day.

A high court later upheld the ruling against Kandil in September 2013.

Since the military-installed government took over in Egypt, it has engaged in a relentless crackdown on Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood party and its supporters, hundreds of whom have been killed and thousands injured. Authorities are also considering declaring the Brotherhood a “terrorist organization,” a move that would step up the legal moves against the group.

Last week Egypt’s Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim accused the Muslim Brotherhood of mobilizing and financing some of the country’s most violent groups to cause unrest, while prosecutors referred Morsi and other top Brotherhood leaders to trial on charges of organizing a large terrorist conspiracy, working with Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran and other militant groups and orchestrating the Sinai insurgency to avenge his ouster.

Morsi supporters and rights groups have called the accusations implausible.

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