The news from Egypt of an "unprecedented legal summons" that calls on former President Hosni Mubarak and his family to face an anti-corruption probe is "definitely" the start of a criminal investigation into the former regime, those who opposed the Mubarak government tell NPR's Deborah Amos.
As The Guardian writes, in his first public statement since leaving office in February:
"Mubarak called any accusations of corruption against him or his family 'a lie.'
" 'I will uphold all my legal rights to defend my reputation as well as that of my family,' he said. 'I have been, and still am, pained by what I and my family are facing from fraudulent campaigns and unfounded allegations that seek to harm my reputation, my integrity and my military and political record.' "
Mubarak appeared on the al-Arabiya news network.
Al-Jazeera adds that "while Mubarak and his sons have only so far been requested to appear for questioning, there is weight behind the statement. 'The prosecutor general has said as well that he has now notified the interior ministry of his request,' [says al-Jazeera correspondent Mike Hanna]. 'This now gives this request real muscle. The assumption is that if it not obeyed or recognized, then steps could be taken to order the arrest of Mubarak and his sons.' "