Some state security documents escaped destruction, officials say

Several high ranking state security officials did not follow former security chief Hassan Abdel Rahman order's to destroy sensitive documents during the 25 January revolution, according to new documents recently acquired by Al-Masry Al-Youm.

Forty-five officials, including Abdel Rahman, are currently awaiting trial on these charges.

According to the documents, officers said they feared that destroying the documents was a crime that would be punishable by law. Some officials hid the files in Port Said port, while others built cement walls at the doors of rooms where the files are kept.

Essam Fouad, the former head of state security in Alexandria, said that he had received a letter from Abdel Rahman demanding that all files marked “top secret” be destroyed. Fouad instead ordered soldiers to build cement walls blocking the rooms where these files were kept.

In March 2011, following the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak, hundreds of civilians stormed the State Security Investigation Services (SSIS) facilities in Cairo and other governorates following reports that its officers had been disposing of documents believed to provide evidence of its corrupt practices.

Some citizens had seized a number of documents and handed them over to investigators.

The SSIS, which had been Egypt’s much-feared and most-hated security agency, was one tool used by Mubarak’s regime to suppress political activism. The agency was accused of torturing political detainees.

Egypt’s former Interior Minister Mansour al-Essawy disbanded the agency in March 2011.

The investigating judge decided to try 45 officials at the now defunct state security agency in the criminal court. The trial will begin in September.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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