Presidential hopeful Shafiq 'detained' in Cairo after UAE deportation

Ahmed Shafiq, a career air force officer who served as the last prime minister under ousted ruler Hosni Mubarak, flew to Cairo from the Emirates on Saturday, ending almost five years of exile in the Gulf Arab nation.

Source close to shafiq's family had also told Reuters earlier Saturday that Shafiq was arrested at his home in the United Arab Emirates and is being deported to Egypt.

"I had a meeting with Shafik an hour ago at one of the hotels in New Cairo and confirmed his health", Shafik's lawyer, Dina Adly, wrote on Facebook on Sunday.

Amira Ahmed Shafik said in a voice recording sent to Bloomberg that her father was denied access to his lawyer and that they planned to sue the Egyptian authorities over his treatment.

An official source later confirmed her statement.

"So far the general has not called me and I was not summoned to meet him", said Adly. UAE officials informed him that a private airplane will transport him to France, but he preferred to book a flight leaving to France on Saturday at dawn.

Last week, Shafiq announced from the UAE that he would return to Egypt to run for president.

"We did not arrest him and we did not receive any requests from the prosecution to arrest him or bring him back".

After losing the closely contested 2012 election to Morsi, Shafik fled to the UAE.

However, Shafiq's family is still in the UAE, said an unnamed official source cited in the ENA report.

Earlier this year, he brushed off widespread public criticism and ratified an agreement that cedes sovereignty over two uninhabited Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.

On Friday, Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said he sees no legal restrictions that could prevent Shafik from running in next year's elections against current President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi.

A prominent military commander, he was appointed commander of the air force in 1996 and later minister of aviation in 2002.

"I don't think that he would take such a big political risk of insulting his hosts of over five years, who effectively gave him refuge while he was facing criminal charges in Egypt".

Shafik is not the only person planning to challenge Sisi in the presidential election.

But his government is struggling to crush the insurgency in the North Sinai region and has also enacted painful austerity reforms over the past year to revive the economy which critics say have eroded his popularity.


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