CAIRO May 11 A lawyer representing former
Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak denied on Sunday that his
client had spoken to a newspaper, describing as a fabrication
reports that he had said it was too early to judge Mohamed
Mursi's performance as president.
Sunday's edition of El-Watan said its journalist had broken
through security lines to speak to Mubarak on Saturday before
his retrial on charges of complicity in the death of protesters
killed in the uprising that swept him from office.
Responding to Mubarak's lawyer's denial, El-Watan's
editor-in-chief Magdi El Galad stood by his reporter's account.
Asked if his reporter had recorded the interview with
Mubarak, El Galad said: "We would disclose that in court if we
found ourselves in court because of that."
The paper, which is fiercely critical of Mursi and his
backers in the Muslim Brotherhood, splashed the story on its
front page, billing it as Mubarak's first comments to the media
since he was toppled in 2011.
Lawyer Farid el-Deeb said he had sent Mubarak, 85, a message
asking if the interview with the reporter had happened. "He sent
me a message saying this didn't happen," he said.
"All of it is incorrect ... Mubarak did not meet with him or
sit with him or any of this."
El-Watan said its journalist had spoken to Mubarak in a side
room at the court where his retrial began on Saturday.
It quoted the deposed leader as saying it was too early to
judge Mursi and expressing concern about the economy and lax
security in Egypt, which he ruled for 30 years.
Deeb said the remarks appeared to be based on comments that
he himself had made to the media.