A Cairo court has set a September trial date for Mohamed ElBaradei on charges of “breaching national trust” for resigning as interim vice-president for foreign affairs when the violent crackdown of the pro-Morsi sit-ins began on August 14. If convicted, he could be fined with $ 1,430. It’s not too much but the fact that a trial is going to take place because a politician decided to resign for conscience reasons, speaks out about how the political situation stands in Egypt. Latest news about a court ruling ordering to release former authoritarian president Hosni Mubarak (pending further investigation of corruption charges against him), contribute to that bad image.
ElBaradei is out of the country. He left shortly after his resignation and is in Vienna (Austria).
Mohamed ElBaradei, a former UN diplomat, Peace Nobel laureate, backed with his reputation the interim government and the move to oust elected president Mohamed Morsi after days of demonstrations of millions asking for his resignation. Maybe he is now regretting that move.
He agreed with the movement who was asking Morsi’s ousting, he agreed with the road map to form an interim government, draft a new constitution and call new elections. He was military appointed president Adly Mansour first choice as Prime Minister. But because of his significance in the opposition against Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood and the protests of other political groups, Mansour changed in hours his choice and named former finance minister Hazem el-Beblawi instead as Prime Minister. ElBaradei was appointed then as vice president for foreign affairs, counting on his high reputation outside Egypt borders to send a good diplomatic image of the new government.
He was in the government when decisions like have Morsi in prison and charged with crimes or call the people to the streets to give a “mandate” to the security forces to act against the pro-Morsi protesters were taken. Also when the firsts violent incidents happened. But he decided to resign because of the violence the first day of the crackdown of the pro-Morsi sit-ins. In his resignation letter he said:
I had hoped the rise of the people on June 30th could bring the country to back its normal course towards realising the goals of the Revolution, which caused me to heed the call of patriotic forces to take part in the rule; however, the course has been deviated from, reaching this state of polarisation and grave division, and the social fabric is threatened as violence breeds violence.
As you are aware, I always saw peaceful alternatives for resolving this societal wrangling, certain solutions were proposed, which could have led to the national conciliation, but things have come this far. Out of experience, reconciliation will inevitably be achieved, yet after paying a heavy price, which, I believe, could have been spared.
It has become difficult for me to continue bearing the responsibility for decisions at which I do not agree, and I fear their consequences; I cannot bear the responsibility for single drop of blood before God, before my own conscience or citizens. Regretfully, what happened today is only in the interest of advocates of violence, terrorism, and extremist groups; and those words of mine will be recalled one day; and ‘I confide my cause unto Allah.
According to the complaint, ElBaradei’s resignation gave the “wrong impression” to the international community, suggesting that the Egyptian government had used “excessive force” against protesters.
Khaled Dawoud, a former spokesman of the National Salvation Front of which ElBaradei was one of the founders, told Al Jazeera that the prosecutor general’s decision to refer the case to court was probably a consequence of the current atmosphere of polarisation in the country.
“This is a reflection of the atmosphere in Egypt right now. You cannot take your independent stand or otherwise you will be considered breaching national trust”
“The complaint against ElBaradei is ridiculous. I just even could not believe this kind of case will be filed.”