Mursi promotes army leaders after report of abuses

CAIRO Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:03pm EDT

Egypt's President Mohamed Mursi (R) speaks with Norway's Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide during a meeting at El-Thadiya presidential palace in Cairo April 3, 2013 in this picture provided by the Egyptian Presidency. REUTERS/Egyptian Presidency/Handout

Egypt's President Mohamed Mursi (R) speaks with Norway's Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide during a meeting at El-Thadiya presidential palace in Cairo April 3, 2013 in this picture provided by the Egyptian Presidency.

Credit: Reuters/Egyptian Presidency/Handout

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CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi promoted top army leaders on Thursday and condemned what he called a campaign against the military, after a British newspaper cited a report that accused the army of torture and killing during the 2011 revolution.

The Guardian said Mursi since January had been sitting on a confidential report from a fact-finding committee recommending the investigation of top army leaders over crimes during the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak.

Without making reference to the Guardian report, state news agency MENA said Mursi approved the promotions of three top commanders.

Mursi identified them on state television as air force commander Younis el-Masry, air defense commander Abdulmanan Bayoumy and navy commander Osama el-Gendi.

Mursi made the decision at a meeting of the Supreme Military Council convened to "calm the situation and end a malaise of the sons of the armed forces" that was due to a "propaganda campaign", MENA said.

In a televised speech, Mursi praised the army and said the three promoted commanders "deserved our respect".

The Guardian said on its website (www.guardian.co.uk) that the report showed that members of the army had been involved in torture, killings and the disappearances of civilians during the 2011 uprising.

The report said army doctors had been given orders to operate on wounded protesters without anesthetic, the newspaper added.

Mubarak will go on trial on Saturday for the second time on charges of complicity in the murder of protesters during the uprising that unseated him.

Mubarak, former Interior Minister Habib al-Adli and four top aides are accused of involvement in the killing of more than 800 protesters who died in the 18-day uprising. Mubarak's two sons, Gamal and Alaa, face retrial on charges of financial corruption.

The military council that took over after Mubarak's overthrow handed over power to Mursi following his election in summer 2012.

(Reporting by Ulf Laessing, Emad Omar and Ali Abdelatit; Editing by Andrew Roche and Peter Cooney)

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