The editor of an Egyptian state-owned daily has been suspended after the paper carried a report, denied by the judiciary, that two former military chiefs were being investigated for corruption, the official MENA news agency reported on Wednesday.
Al-Gomhuria editor Gamal Abderrahim hit back, saying the action taken against him was a “settling of scores” by Islamists around President Mohamed Morsi for his paper’s critical reporting of the Muslim Brotherhood over the years.
The paper reported in its Wednesday edition that former defense minister Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi and his armed forces chief of staff, General Sami Anan, had both been barred from leaving the country while the investigation continued.
Tantawi headed the interim government that took over from veteran strongman Hosni Mubarak on his ouster in February last year. Anan was his number two.
A judicial source denied the report, MENA said.
A military source voiced “the extreme indignation of the armed forces over... the attack on their commanders and symbols,” the news agency added.
But the editor was unrepentant.
“I publish journalism that is in the interests of the Egyptian people, journalism that is independent,” he told Al-Jazeera Mubasher Misr television.
There have been growing accusations by staff of state-owned papers that they are being punished for their papers’ support for Mubarak’s regime before his overthrow, in a move by Islamists to stamp their control.