British man freed from jail in Egypt after being detained for ‘patting police officer on back’

Rory Sullivan
Joan and her husband Tony Camoccio, lawyer Elezab Ali Elezab and Remo Camoccio (left to right): PA

A British man arrested for allegedly “patting” an Egyptian security guard’s back has been released, according to a campaign group.

Tony Camoccio, 51, was worried he would be falsely charged with sexual assault after being detained following an incident at Hurghada International Airport earlier this month.

However, the campaign group Detained in Dubai said in a statement on Saturday that Mr Camoccio had been freed, after paying roughly £1,000 in bail and other fees.

The group’s chief executive Radha Stirling said the case had been dismissed due to a “lack of evidence”.

“While the charges were clearly without merit, we have to emphasise that had British authorities and the international press not paid attention to this case, there is no reason to believe that Tony would be a free man today,” Ms Stirling added.

According to a tweet by Ms Stirling, Mr Camoccio will be on the next available flight back to the UK from Cairo.

By Saturday, more than 5,000 people had signed an online petition demanding his release.

The petition reads: “At customs in Hurghada airport on his outbound journey, he (Mr Camoccio) was at final checkpoint where he was, as a standard procedure for all outbound passengers, patted down by a security officer.

“Tony then gently patted the officer’s back, and is now facing serious accusations.”

Mr Camoccio said in a statement: “I’m very excited to be heading home and can’t wait to see all of my family and rest after the past week’s events.

“I’m very thankful to everyone for their support,” Mr Camoccio added.

The Foreign Office said they were in contact with him, his family and Egyptian authorities, but it could not officially confirm his release.

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