The Ministry of Investment’s decision to close Al-Jazeera in Egypt came “too late,” according to former Minister of Information Osama Heikal. Heikal denounced the ministry’s decision to wait, saying everyone realizes Al-Jazeera is the mouthpiece of the Muslim Brotherhood.
He also said its existence poses a clear threat to Egyptian national security.
“As an Egyptian citizen, I did my duty and issued two resolution to close Al-Jazeera, activated by shutting down its headquarters and confiscating its devices upon discovering its illegal presence,” Heikal told Youm7.
“There is no channel that gets its license from one country to work in another, but Al-Jazeera got its licenses from Qatar to work in Egypt,” the former minister said.
Then, Heikal started to unveil the details of the relationship between the Brotherhood and the channel, which he described as one of the major threats to the country. Heikal said the channel continued broadcasting in spite of the decision to close it, since Minister Salah Abdul Maksoud who succeeded Heikal during the Brotherhood era, gave the channel license to work in Egypt in a legally way, but they were surprised that it should not have an office in Egypt as it got a license from Qatar.
“That is why they tried another way by Al-Jazeera becoming an Egyptian joint stock company, made up of three bodies, one of them having 90% of the capital, the second had 5% and both of them were Qatari, but the third company was incorporated in Britain with Qatari funds, and all this is had no basis of reality but merely agreements and fake accounts,” Heikal added.
Heikal said all these violations occurred under Brotherhood control, noting that Al-Jazeera still does not have the license, even after the revolution of the June 30.
Furthermore, Haikal said that the closure of the channel has no meaning currently, since its staff do not work from an office and have no specific location after realizing that the public anger after the 30 June revolution would overthrow them all. He said this is why they broadcast with portable tools called SNG which they carry on their backs for broadcasting out through other satellites except Nile Sat, and this will help continuity of broadcasting.
Haikal concluded his remarks to Youm7 by warning Al-Jazeera staff that they are working at an illegal channel which threatens national security, and they could be prosecuted and detained.
Translated from Youm7.