The Cyprus Mail reports:
DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS with the new Egyptian government have taken a rather “uncomfortable” turn after the Egyptian ambassador was accused by police of swearing at and slapping an officer at Larnaca airport.
The diplomat counter-alleged that she was manhandled by police.
On Saturday afternoon, Egyptian ambassador Menha Mahrous Bakhoum went to Larnaca airport to see off her husband and adult children who were visiting the island. Claiming diplomatic immunity, Bakhoum wanted to accompany her family to the boarding gate.
The airport authorities obliged but things got a little hairy at the security checkpoint, leaving the police, foreign ministry and Cairo all looking for a rock to hide under.
According to reports, Bakhoum agreed to undergo security checks, putting her purse and coat on the X-ray machine conveyor belt but drew the line on taking her boots off.
At this point, various media claim Bakhoum swore at police officers and slapped one female officer, resulting in the latter getting a swollen cheek and sick leave.
Then five male police officers allegedly grabbed hold of the ambassador and took her to a room to explain her actions to a more senior officer. According to sources, affronted by the effort to detain or arrest her, the ambassador pulled the hair of the senior officer, who happened to be wearing a wig.
At this point, Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou Marcoullis was alerted to the incident and contacted airport police immediately, ordering the release of the Egyptian diplomat citing her diplomatic immunity under the 1961 Vienna Convention.
Bakhoum was left free to go but by Sunday, the Cypriot media had got wind of the story, leading reporters in Cairo to probe their government spokesman on what exactly happened.
The Egyptian ambassador gave a different account:
For her part the ambassador gave a differing account to the Foreign Ministry, claiming violence was used against her and she was forcibly detained at the airport.
Let’s go to the videotape.
Hmm, methinks the ambassador has trouble with telling the truth. Not to mention her temper.