Officials said Adli was replaced as part of a Cabinet reshuffle meant to
meet the demands of the opposition, Middle East Newsline reported. They said Adli was being investigated on
charges that he ordered police and security forces to fire on demonstrators
in January and February, in which 300 civilians were killed, about
two-thirds of them in Cairo.
Adli was said to have left his position on Jan. 28 amid heavy police
escort. Within hours, Mubarak ordered him to return to the Interior
Ministry, where he was placed into custody the following day on charges of
manslaughter and damage to public property.
"One of the first decisions [of Wagdy] was to issue the credo: 'The
police serve the people,' " Mubarak said.
Adli was said to have been the architect of Egypt's crackdown on the
Muslim Brotherhood over the last five years. But officials said Adli lost
his authority when at least hundreds of security officers refused orders to
fire on protesters in such cities as Alexandria and Cairo.
In contrast, Wagdy was said to have ordered security forces and prison
authorities to end abuse. At one point, the new interior minister met one
detainee, Wael Ghonim, marketing manager for Google and touted as a key
promoter of the opposition campaign against Mubarak. Under heavy U.S.
pressure, Ghonim, 28, was released on Feb. 7.
"He [Wagdy] talked to me like an adult, not like someone of strength
talking to someone weak," Ghonim said in a television interview.
Still, clashes continued between police and protesters. In Helwan, south
of Cairo, police shot dead an Egyptian who violated the evening curfew, a
killing that sparked massive riots in the town. Another clash between police
and civilians was reported in the New Valley Governorate in Upper Egypt, in
which dozens of people were said to have been injured.
On Feb. 8, the U.S. administration continued to pressure the Mubarak
regime to halt the arrest of demonstrators and journalists. Vice President
Joseph Biden telephoned his Egyptian counterpart, Omar Suleiman, and urged
him to order the Interior Ministry to immediately free journalists and
political activists as well as rescind the emergency law.
"These steps, and a clear policy of no reprisals, are what the broad
opposition is calling for and what the government is saying it is prepared
to accept," a White House statement said.