- The Washington Times - Friday, March 29, 2002

Sudan plans to send a prime suspect in a 1995 attempt to assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to Cairo to face charges, Sudanese and U.S. officials said.

Sudanese Information Minister Mahdi Ibrahim said in a phone interview with UPI on Tuesday that his government had begun a process to send Abu Anas Misri to Egypt for trial.

"He was in the country without proper documents, then he gave information which was perceived as not correct for which he was taken to court," Mr. Ibrahim said. Misri was sentenced to 40 years in prison but Mr. Ibrahim said Sudan is negotiating with Egypt "in a process that will ultimately end by extraditing him to Cairo."

In the past, the United States has urged Sudan and other nations to hand over suspected terrorists to third countries without a legal process known as rendition.

But Sudanese Justice Minister Ali Muhammed Osman Yassin told UPI Tuesday that Misri's extradition will be based on a 1902 treaty with Egypt, signed when both countries were colonial possessions of Britain.

"We are trying to help this matter by working within the Sudanese legal structure to create a positive environment to help the Egyptian government," he said.

Misri is believed by the United States to be one of the main plotters of a 1995 assassination attempt against Mr. Mubarak, two U.S. officials told UPI. Gunmen attacked the Egyptian president's motorcade in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in June 1995, when he was attending a summit meeting of the Organization of African Unity. He escaped unhurt.

There has been some confusion over the identity of the suspect in Sudanese custody. Earlier this month, U.S. officials told reporters that the man was Abu Anas Liby, wanted by the FBI for his suspected role in plotting the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in east Africa.

Both U.S. and Sudanese officials later confirmed that the man was not Liby. This week, they claimed to have resolved any doubts about the suspect's identity.

Mr. Ibrahim said Egypt would like interrogate Misri, who is linked to a branch of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad militant group.


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