Media host says Shafiq interview withheld over “technical issues”

A media host has said that an interview with former presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq in Abu Dhabi had been withheld over “technical issues”, adding to the recent ambivalence in the relationship between the government and Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister.
Abdel Rahim Ali, a presenter at al-Assema satellite TV, announced on Sunday via the al-Bawaba the news website, that an interview he had coducted with Shafiq was scheduled to be aired on 8 and 9 June.
The audience, however, waited for the interview in vain.
Ali, speaking to al-Nahar satellite channel on Monday, said he had no idea why the interview was not broadcasted on al-Assema, adding that the material had been delivered. He said the incident might have resulted from a “technical issue”.
Sources at al-Assema TV told Al-Masry Al-Youm that officials at the channel refuse to air the interview to avoid "animosity with the incumbent regime since Shafiq had voiced his criticism of several political figures and officials". The sources stressed that the interview will never be aired.
Al-Bawabh had run a promo for the interview, which Ali said discussed the deteriorting relations between Shafiq and the current government. It has been reported that the authorities had advised the former Air Force commander not to engage in any political activity.
Shafiq’s political party, the Egyptian National Movement, had dismissed the reports as untrue.
Ali quoted Shafiq as denying that he had received any messages from the Egyptian authorities advising him not to return home. 
However, al-Bawabh’s promo quoted Shafiq as saying: “I possess a lot of important information concerning several figures…let me remain silent”.
The same promo showed Shafiq stating that “a fighter never leaves his neck to enemies”, when asked about the reason he had not returned to Egypt.
Shafiq left Egypt, traveling to the UAE following his defeat in the 2012 presidential elections. He has since been acquitted of a number of corruption charges in absentia.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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