Egyptian Brotherhood leaders to face trial for crimes including incitement to murder

Sunday 04 August 2013 21.19
Supporters of the deposed president Mohamed Morsi during a demonstration against the government
Supporters of the deposed president Mohamed Morsi during a demonstration against the government

The leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and his deputy will face trial in three weeks' time for crimes including incitement to murder during protests in the days before the overthrow of President Mohamed Mursi, a Cairo court has announced.

The move showed the army-backed interim government was pushing ahead with a crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood, to which Mr Mursi belongs, while international envoys try to help resolve the political crisis brought on by his removal by the army on 3 July.

State news agency MENA quoted the court as saying it would start the trial of Mohamed Badie and his deputy Khairat el-Shater on 25 August.

The general prosecutor also ordered the pre-trial detention for 15 days of Rifaa El-Tahtawy, Mr Mursi's former chief-of-staff, and his deputy, who are accused of inciting the detention, torture and interrogation of protesters in 2012, MENA reported.

Mr Mursi's allies view them as political detainees who should be included in talks to ease tensions.

Mr Badie, who is not in custody, Mr Shater and Rashad al-Bayoumi, another Brotherhood leader, are due to be tried alongside three others accused of killing at least two men in violence around the group's Cairo headquarters on June 30.

Arrested warrants were issued for Mr Shater and Mr Badie on 4 July on accusations of inciting the violence in which at least eight people were killed on a night of mass protests against President Mursi.

Mr Shater, a businessman seen as the Brotherhood's leading political strategist, had been the Islamist group's first choice candidate to run in last year's presidential election. But he was disqualified due to past convictions, forcing Mr Mursi to take his place.

Mr Bayoumi is being held in Torah prison on the outskirts of Cairo, the same place where former strongman Hosni Mubarak, who was toppled by a popular uprising in February 2011, and his sons Alaa and Gamal are detained.

Mr Mursi, who has also been accused of murder and other crimes, is detained at an undisclosed location.