An Egyptian court has sentenced an Islamist politician to jail for committing an indecent sexual act in public and assaulting police who arrested him, in a case that could damage the image of his ultra-conservative movement.
- Op-ed: Will Egypt's Morsi change?
- Egyptian cinema – now with an Islamic touch
- Blast rocks Egypt's gas pipeline to Israel, Jordan
Wanees said the woman was a relative and he had been trying to revive her after she suffered from an ailment which he did not explain.
The woman was sentenced to six months in prison, state news agency MENA said on Saturday, adding that both could avoid prison if they paid a fine. Wanees was convicted in absentia and his whereabouts were unknown.
Wanees was a member of parliament in the now-dissolved parliament for al-Asala, a small Salafi group that advocates a strict interpretation of Islam and prohibits sex outside marriage.
Wanees's conviction could discredit a movement that sees itself as a paragon of public morality.
Earlier this year a member of al-Nour, another Salafi group, resigned in disgrace.
Seeking to explain bandages on his face, he said he had been attacked by gunmen. It later emerged he had undergone cosmetic surgery on his nose, a practice forbidden by his movement.