Ousted Egyptian President Morsi is under criminal investigation, Egypt’s public prosecutor announced Saturday. In addition to Morsi, the investigation also includes other members of the country’s Muslim Brotherhood party.
Charges include spying, inciting and killing protesters, attacking military barracks, and damaging the country’s economy.
Gehad El-Haddad , Muslim Brotherhood spokesman, said the charges were ridiculous. He said it was the authorities themselves who were responsible for inciting violence.
“They execute the crime themselves and then they slap it on their opponents. As long as you have a criminal police force and a complicit judiciary, the evidence will appear and the judge will be satisfied. And the media will sell it to the public.”
There are other Muslim Brotherhood members who are on the list of being investigated. They include Mohamed Badie, and Deputy Director Essam El-Erian. In addition, senior members of Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party are also being investigated.
Since he was deposed by the country’s military July 3, Morsi has not been seen in public. Reports say the deposed president is being held at an unknown location. The army has stated he is being held at a “safe” location.
The US has called for his immediate release. In addition, Germany’s foreign ministry Friday urged Egyptian authorities to allow an international organization, such as the Red Cross, access to the ousted leader. The foreign ministry implored for an end to his restrictions.
Morsi supporters have been staging mass protests in Cairo and other cities ever since he was deposed in a military coup. They have been demanding his return to office. Dozens of people have been killed in bloody clashes between pro-Morsi and anti-Morsi supporters in the past few weeks. Sit-in protests have continued. At the Rabaa Al-Adawiya Mosque in Cairo’s Nasr City, sit-ins have now continued for more than a week.
Reports say on Saturday, four members of the now-dissolved upper house of Parliament met at the mosque. They insisted that the verdict that dissolved Parliament’s upper house is null and void since the legislative body was elected democratically.
“We will be taking legal steps to talk to world parliaments, and will take legal and international action to prevent violations of the rule of law,” former member of Parliament Amir Bassam said.
Former leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood party have also insisted that their main goal was “protecting the legitimate right of the people and their will through a democratic ballot box.”
Reports say that this criminal investigation of the ousted president Morsi by the country’s prosecution office further weakens the already remote hopes of resolution between the interim authorities and the Muslim Brotherhood.
In the meantime, Adly Mansour, Egypt’s interim leader promised new elections early next year. He prepared a timetable for new parliamentary elections to be held early 2014. Morsi’s supporters promptly rejected his plan. In addition, other political groups, including the main liberal coalition to the National Salvation Front also opposed him, saying it they were not consulted.
“We elected him and supported a four-year term,” Magdy Mohammad Saber, a participant in the sit-in at Rabaa Al-Adawiya Mosque in Cairo’s Nasr city said. “We don’t agree with the idea of upcoming elections.”
Ousted president Morsi was Egypt’s first freely elected leader and its first Islamist president.
By Perviz Walji