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Lawyer demands to see Egypt president hopeful after 'deportation'

Former Egyptian prime minister Ahmed Shafiq who has said he will challenge President Abdel Fattah al Sisi in elections next year

Former Egyptian prime minister Ahmed Shafik's lawyer says she has met with him at a hotel in Cairo, her first contact with him since his arrival in Cairo.

CAIRO (AP) - There has been no official word yet as of Sunday evening on the whereabouts of an Egyptian presidential hopeful who flew home from the United Arab Emirates a day earlier.

Meanwhile, lawyer Dina Adly who is Shafiq's legal representative, released on Sunday a statement on her Facebook page in which she asserted that she has no information on Shafiq's current location. "He confirmed that his health was good and that he was not subjected to any investigations", she wrote.

Amira Ahmed Shafik said in a voice recording sent to Bloomberg that her father was denied access to his lawyer and that they planned to sue the Egyptian authorities over his treatment.

Shafiq's family said he was taken from their home on Saturday and flown by private plane back to Cairo.

Cairo airport officials say an Egyptian presidential hopeful living in the United Arab Emirates has arrived in Egypt from Abu Dhabi.

President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi is widely expected to run for a second term but has yet to announce it.

On Wednesday, Shafik said in an exclusive video message to Al Jazeera that he had been blocked from leaving the UAE, hours after announcing plans to run in Egypt's 2018 election against President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. UAE officials informed him that a private airplane will transport him to France, but he preferred to book a flight leaving to France on Saturday at dawn.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al Sisi is certain to run in next year’s election although he has not formally announced his candidacy yet
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al Sisi is certain to run in next year’s election although he has not formally announced his candidacy yet

According to information by sources at Cairo's International Airport, when Shafiq's plane landed almost 50 family members and his loyalists met him at the airport.

Airport officials said he was escorted out of Cairo airport by unidentified security personnel.

Shafiq, who narrowly lost a 2012 presidential bid against Mursi, joined several other lower-profile candidates who have also said they will run, though some say they believe they have no chance against Sisi.

A prominent military commander, he was appointed commander of the air force in 1996 and later minister of aviation in 2002.

In 2012 Shafiq only just lost out to Islamist Mohammed Morsi for the presidency, despite widespread antipathy for Mubarak-era officials. He has also been accused of "destabilizing" Egypt. He was acquitted, or had charges dropped, in several cases in the past, including for corruption.

One Egyptian judicial source said on Saturday Shafiq did not face any criminal cases in Egypt.

Shafik is not the only person planning to challenge Sisi in the presidential election.

But his government is fighting a stubborn Islamist militant insurgency in the Sinai region and has also enacted painful austerity reforms over the past year to revive the economy but that critics say have dented his popularity.