Investigations: State security head ordered records destroyed

Al-Masry Al-Youm has received a copy of the investigation into the destruction of confidential files kept by the now-dissolved State Security Investigations Services (SSIS). Forty-one defendants in the case have been put on trial.

The Justice Ministry assigned Judge Mohamed Shawky the case. On Tuesday, Shawky decided to put on trial former SSIS head Hassan Abdel Rahman, his deputy Tareq Abu Gheida and 39 other security branch heads from different governorates.

According to the investigative report, former Interior Minister Mahmoud Wagdy testified that he had ordered Abdel Rahman to protect the files and the headquarters of the SSIS, and that he dismissed Abdel Rhaman when he disobeyed the order.

Wagdy said that Abdel Rahman ordered SSIS branch heads to get rid of the files without notifying him.

Former SSIS senior official Major General Gamal Eddin Abdel Salam, 55, said in his testimony that Abdel Rahman ordered the heads of the different security branches to destroy the top secret files.

Armed forces Captain Ahmed Gabr, 27, said that on 5 March 2011 he was among the forces securing the SSIS headquarters in 6th of October City after they were notified that the building was on fire and that residents were attempting to storm it.

Gabr said he entered the building and while inspecting the rooms, he heard a noise in the bathroom. He entered the bathroom and found three people manually shredding files in a bathtub full of water and breaking CDs into small pieces.

Gabr checked their IDs and identified the individuals as Brigadier General Esmat Mehanna, Captain Ahmed Negm and soldier Ahmed Saad. He then reported the incident to the general prosecution.

Driver Mohamed Suleiman, 38, affiliated with Beni Suef security department, said he received orders to head to a deserted area east of the Nile along with a number of police cars. A police officer ordered him to dig a hole in the ground to bury large amounts of papers that were stuffed in three police trucks. He said that the files were burned before being buried.

Driver at the Beni Suef Police Department Mahmoud Tantawi, 26, confirmed Suleiman’s testimony.

Thirty-seven-year-old Badel Salam Ghonim, a driver in Kafr al-Sheikh, testified that in Desouk he witnessed SSIS officer Mohamed Abu Raya and other police personnel burning files on Interior Ministry-owned land and then burying them.

Sayed Matar, a 39-year-old rubbish truck driver in Gharbiya, said that at the end of February his boss ordered him to head to the SSIS headquarters with his car, where he transferred large amounts of shredded papers to be burned at the Nile Cotton Ginning Company. Mater said he was accompanied by two SSIS officers.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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