Ultra-conservative Egyptian MP accused of indecent act
AP- EGYPTIAN prosecutors intend to investigate an ultraconservative 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, widely reported in the local media, comes at a crucial time for Islamists rallying behind 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 allegations are especially controversial for ultraconservative Salafi Muslims, who advocate a strict interpretation of Islam and the segregation of unrelated men and women.
The accused politician and sheikh, Ali Wanees, ran for parliament on a coalition led by the Salafi-led Nour Party, which controls 25 per cent of parliament.
Salafi leaders are backing Wanees, calling the police report "fraudulent."
According to security officials with access to the police report, four police officers say a vehicle was parked in a dark area along an agricultural road linking the city of Banha to Cairo on Thursday evening.
In their report, 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 knocked on the car window and demanded the man 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 realised he was an MP and has parliamentary immunity. The officers filed a report against Wanees, saying that he was caught "violating public decency."
Egypt's MENA news agency say state prosecutors have requested that his immunity be lifted so they can investigate.
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 fell ill, forcing him to pull the car over.
"I was surprised to find someone knocking on the car window," he said. "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 with the police at the scene and that after around 30 minutes he was allowed to leave.