sadat 298 ap.
(photo credit: AP [file])
The nephew of President Anwar Sadat went on trial Wednesday for describing his uncle's assassination as an international conspiracy in which Egyptian generals were involved.
Talaat Sadat, 52, an opposition lawmaker whose parliamentary immunity has been withdrawn, pleaded innocent to a charge of "spreading false rumors and insulting the armed forces" in a military court, his defense lawyer told reporters.
About 50 supporters of Sadat chanted "With our blood and souls, we redeem you, Sadat," as the defendant, wearing an olive suit, left the court on the outskirts of Cairo.
"I am confident of my innocence. I didn't insult the armed forces," Sadat told reporters before being driven away in a black sedan. "They (the authorities) just want to get rid of me."
Reporters were barred from the court, but defense attorney Montasser el-Zayat said the judge adjourned the session to Oct. 15 and asked the prosecution to arrange for the court to see the video taped interview with Sadat on which the charge is based.
President Sadat was shot dead by Islamic militants in the Egyptian army during a military parade in Cairo on Oct. 6, 1981. The soldiers were opposed to Sadat's landmark peace treaty with Israel of 1979.
In an interview with the privately owned, Saudi television channel Orbit last week, Talaat Sadat said the assassination was an international conspiracy that included his uncle's personal guards and some Egyptian army commanders. He also claimed that the United States and Israel were involved.
"No one from the special personal protection group of the late president fired a single shot during the killing, and not one of them has been put on trial," Talaat Sadat said in the interview.
On Wednesday, the Sadat family published a full page advertisement in Egypt's leading newspaper, Al-Ahram, saying they apologized for Talaat's remarks and that no offense was meant.
"What legislator Talaat Sadat said in some of the talk shows ... was not meant to insult any of the symbols of the Egyptian armed forces, its heroes or leaders," said the advertisement, which carried pictures of President Hosni Mubarak, the defense minister, Field Marshall Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, as well as Talaat Sadat
Last week, Talaat Sadat told the independent Egyptian newspaper Al Masry Al Youm that he would ask parliament to form a committee to reinvestigate his uncle's assassination. If the parliament did not agree to do so, he would appeal to the United Nations, he said.
Sadat is an independent member of parliament who has been an outspoken critic of Mubarak over what are seen as attempts to groom the president's son, Gamal Mubarak, to succeed his father.
Conspiracy allegations involving Sadat's assassination are not new. As he was killed while sitting in a well-guarded podium, surrounded by his Cabinet, rumors have abounded that the assassins were secretly helped by senior figures.