Fourteen persons were arrested Sunday on suspicion of being involved in the assassination of former prosecutor general Hisham Barakat.
In a press conference Sunday, Minister of Interior Magdy Abdel Ghaffar said the suspects belong to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. He moreover declared they were trained by elements from the Gaza-based Hamas organisation, who infiltrated through national borders.
“We managed to unravel a large-scale and long-standing plot, in which the assassination of martyr Hisham Barakat was one of the top targets, and which included another set of terrorist operations,” Abdel Ghaffar said.
The minister said the plan for the “plot” was initiated upon instructions from Brotherhood leaders in Turkey, who coordinated with the “armed branch of the Brotherhood, Hamas”, which in turn took part in executing the assassination of the prosecutor general.
Reports by state-run media said Prosecutor General Nabil Sadek ordered on Sunday the detention of six persons suspected of taking part in the assassination of Barakat.
Barakat was assassinated in June 2015 in an attack that targeted his motorcade. The attack was not claimed by a militant group. However Al-Murabitoon, an Islamist militant group linked to Al-Qaeda, was widely linked to the attack. The group is believed to be led by former military Special Forces officer Hisham Al-Ashmawy.
The assassination, which marked the first of such a high-profile figure since 1990, sparked instantaneous response from the state. Shortly after Barakat’s funeral, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi announced expected legal amendments to take place to speed up trials and the enforcement of verdicts.
Al-Sisi said the Penal Code contains “obstructions to judges’ work, mainly in preventing the punishment of those who shed the blood of Egyptians”.