Suit over Sadat 'poison' claim

2010-09-21 17:01

Cairo - The daughter of late Egyptian president Anwar Sadat is suing his former aide over claims the leader poisoned his predecessor Gamal Abdel Nasser, a judicial source said on Tuesday.

Roqaya al-Sadat has filed a complaint to the public prosecutor accusing Mohammed Hassanein Heikal, a prominent journalist who was Sadat's aide and adviser, of libel, the source said.

In a programme on pan-Arab satellite channel Al-Jazeera, Heikal said Nasser died three days after Sadat personally prepared a cup of coffee for him, implying the beverage was poisoned.

"My father didn't like coffee and didn't know how to prepare coffee," Roqaya said in the complaint to the public prosecutor, the judicial source said.

After the Al-Jazeera programme was aired on Thursday last week, Nasser's son Abdel Hakim said he was aware of the rumours but had no evidence to back the claims.

"I heard the cup of coffee story years ago from my sister, but I can't tell what happened," Abdel Hakim was quoted as saying by the state-owned newspaper Egyptian Mail.

"All the options are now on the table, but we don't have clear evidence to convict anyone," he said.

Nationalist leader Nasser suffered a heart attack and died in office on September 28 1970.

Sadat, who was his deputy at the time, then took over as president. He was gunned down in 1981 by Islamist militants opposed to a peace deal he agreed to with Israel.