|Ex-Egypt lawmaker “guilty” of indecency|
|CAIRO: An Egyptian court has sentenced a former ultraconservative lawmaker to 18 months in jail on charges of “violating public decency” and contempt of police.|
Police officers say Ali Wanees, who is also a religious cleric, was in a parked vehicle along an agricultural road at night last month. The officers say they approached the car and saw a woman in a full face veil sitting on top of Wanees, who was touching and caressing her.
The woman with him has been under arrest for about a month. She was ordered to six months in jail yesterday.
The charges are especially embarrassing for Salafis, who advocate a strict segregation of unrelated men and women.
|Salafi Egyptian MP accused of indecent act|
|Egyptian prosecutors plan to investigate a Salafi MP whom police say was caught in his car "violating public decency" with a woman. He denies the allegation and Islamists say the case is aimed at defaming them ahead of upcoming presidential runoff elections.|
The incident, much discussed in the local media, comes at a crucial time for supporters of Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi, who is set to face former regime figure and ex-military man Ahmed Shafiq in a June 16-17 vote.
The accused politician and sheikh, Ali Wanees, ran for parliament on a coalition led by the Salafi-led Nour Party, which controls a quarter of the seats in parliament. Salafi leaders back Wanees, and call the police report "fraudulent."
According to officials with access to the police report, four policemen say a vehicle was parked in a dark area along an agricultural road on Thursday evening.
The officers say they approached the car and saw a woman in a full face veil sitting on top of a man who was touching and caressing her. They say that when they tapped on the car window and told the man to show his national ID and car registration, he yelled back, "I am Ali Wanees, member of parliament, you sons of dogs."
Wanees was briefly detained before police realized he was an MP and has parliamentary immunity. The police officers filed a report against Wanees, saying that he was caught "violating public decency."
In a video posted on his website, Wanees says the 23-year old woman is his niece and that the two had been running errands when she became ill, forcing him to pull the car over. He said, "I was surprised to find someone knocking on the car window. I opened the door and was surprised to be asked for my ID and I unfortunately had really forgotten my ID, the car registration and my parliamentary ID."
He says there was a dispute at the scene and that after around 30 minutes the police allowed him to leave.