Amid growing public outrage that resulted in the death yesterday of two Egyptian protesters, Hosni Mubarak has issued his first, self-pitying statement since he was forced out of office two months ago. Meanwhile, state prosecutors have summoned him for questioning, and arrested his former Prime Minister, Ahmed Nazif.
The audiotaped remarks, running five minutes in length, were recorded yesterday after hundreds of thousands had again convened in Tahrir Square — this time to denounce the slow move to justice in investigating Mubarak's assets. It's a fortune estimated to be in the tens of billions.
As broadcast by the Saudi-owned network Al Arabiya, Mubarak — who is currently holed up in the family's vacation home on the Red Sea — comes off as hurt and shell-shocked by the sweeping turn of events.
"I have been pained and am still in pain because of what I have been subjected to, my family and I," he said, "from unjust campaigns and false allegations aimed at hurting my reputation and questioning my integrity, stances and military and political history, through which I have striven for the sake of Egypt and its sons in war and in peace."
Mubarak went on to reassure Egyptians that he is making his financial records completely available to prosecutors, and denied holding wealth or property in foreign countries.
"I reserve my full legal rights toward all those who have deliberately tried to get at my reputation and the reputation of my family domestically and abroad," he said.
In an attempt "at mollifying growing public frustration," a request was sent Sunday morning from the attorney general to the Ministry of the Interior, asking that "Mr. Mubarak and his sons, Gamal and Alaa, be called to Cairo for questioning." Nazif, meanwhile, was arrested in connection with a deal to import license plates from a German company.