Reports: Fugitive Member of Nasser Family To Return To Face Charges
CAIRO, Egypt (AP) _ Family members denied published reports the exiled eldest son of the late President Gamal Abdel Nasser will return home to face charges that he participated in attacks on Israeli and American diplomats.
An opposition weekly, Sawt-el-Arab, on Sunday quoted the fugitive, Khaled Abdel Nasser, as saying he planned to return from exile in Yugoslavia to stand trial. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.
The state-run newspaper Al-Akhbar reported today that entry points in Egypt were placed on alert for the possible return of Khaled. Al-Akhbar also said Ahmad el-Khawaga, a defense attorney and head of the Egyptian Bar Association, had flown to Belgrade, Yugoslavia, seeking to bring back Khaled.
Cairo’s newspapers said authorities in Yugoslavia, where Khaled obtained political asylum, were notified through Interpol that he is a fugitive.
However, a member of the Nasser family, who spoke today with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said Khaled has no intention of coming home to face trial. Another family member, Khaled’s brother-in-law Ashraf Marawan, also reportedly said the defendant refuses to come home.
Khaled, 38, is one of 11 defendants charged in connection with four shooting attacks in Cairo between 1984 and 1987 that killed two Israelis and wounded six Israelis and two Americans.
Nine other defendants, including Gamal Shawky Abdel Nasser, a nephew of the late president who also is at large, are charged with lesser crimes in connection with the alleged conspiracy.
In announcing the charges last week, government officials said all defendants except the Nassers were in custody or free on bail.
Sources close to the fugitives told The Associated Press the two were advised early in the investigation to leave Egypt, apparently to avoid the embarrassment to the government of having to arrest close relatives of a man still adored in much of the Arab world.
″Khaled Abdel Nasser’s name has been placed on the list of (people) expected to return to Egyptian airports and ports,″ Al-Akhbar reported.
It said el-Khawaga, the attorney, hoped to persuade Nasser in Belgrade to turn himself in to Egyptian authorities. El-Khawaga’s office confirmed the attorney’s departure but gave no details.
Although Egypt and Yugoslavia have no extradition treaty, Al-Akhbar speculated that Egypt will use diplomatic channels to extradite Khaled.
The Nasserite weekly Sawt-el-Arab claimed Sunday that Khaled said in a telephone conversation from Belgrade that ″I have faith in the Egyptian judiciary system″ and would return when the trial begins.
A trial date has not yet been set.