Egyptian lawyers to sue China for trillions over coronavirus
Two Egyptian lawyers have raised a multi-trillion dollar lawsuit against Chinese President Xi Jinping for his presumed role in spreading the coronavirus to Egypt, Egyptian social media users and news websites reported on Sunday.
Mohammed Talaat and Amr Bayoumi, two lawyers with the Egyptian State Council, filed a complaint against Xi via the Chinese ambassador to Egypt, according to the Egyptian news site Al-Yawm Al-Jadid.
A photo widely circulated on social media purportedly showed the letter presenting the lawsuit, which called on the Chinese leader to pay $10 trillion because of his "responsibility" for the spread of the deadly Covid-19 virus throughout the world.
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The lawsuit is based on reports claiming that the coronavirus was "deliberately manufactured" by the Chinese government as part of a biological warfare programme, and accusations that China purposefully withheld information about the early stages of the spread of the virus, which caused great harm to the world.
Talaat and Bayoumi said that Egypt was forced to close its borders and stop all flights as a result of China's alleged mishandling of the coronavirus crisis and had sustained heavy damage to its economy.
There have been approximately 1,000 cases of coronavirus in Egypt and 66 deaths. But the lawyers said that they were demanding the astronomical sum of money not only on behalf of Egypt but the whole world.
They said that the $10 trillion would go to the Egyptian state and the state-sponsored "Tahya Misr" (Long Live Egypt) charity fund. Both lawyers said they intend to pursue the case in international courts if China failed to pay up.
Their demands were ridiculed by many on social media platforms.
One Twitter user laughingly claimed that the lawyers were drunk when they filed the lawsuit, saying: "Alcohol at this time should only be used for sterilization, and any misuse could lead to acts which the other 100 million [people in Egypt] will be ashamed of."
Separately, the UK's Daily Mail reported on Sunday that a neo-conservative think-tank, the Henry Jackson Society, would publish a report assessing China's financial culpability for the global coronavirus crisis, based on Beijing's attempts to conceal the early spread of Covid-19.
The report found that the global economy sustained nearly $4 trillion in damages, which could have been avoided if China was open about the spread of coronavirus from the beginning, adding that Britain could be entitled to $430 billion in compensation from China.