Friday 22 September 2017

Morsi 'plotted with Hamas' during Egypt's 2011 uprising

Demonstraters in Tahrir Square, Cairo. Ed Giles/Getty
Demonstraters in Tahrir Square, Cairo. Ed Giles/Getty

Ruth Sherlock Cairo

Egypt's rulers have accused Mohammed Morsi, the deposed president, of conspiring with the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas and plotting to attack police stations during the country's revolution two years ago.

The announcement, which could pave the way for formal charges, was the first word on Mr Morsi's legal status since he was deposed by the military on July 3. A judicial order disclosed the alleged charges against him and said he should be detained for 15 days for investigation.

The central accusation was one of conspiring with Hamas during the 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak's regime to "carry out anti-state acts, attacking police stations and army officers and storming prisons".

Mr Morsi escaped from a prison outside Cairo during the uprising. The first democratically elected leader in Egypt's history is accused of "enabling inmates to flee, including himself, as well as premeditated killing of officers, soldiers and prisoners".

The Muslim Brotherhood denied the charges, calling them politically motivated.

Bahy Eldin Hassan, of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, said the charges were being made for political ends. "There are many questions surrounding events that happened during the 2011 revolution. The parties which hold this information don't provide it unless it is for their own interest, as what is happening in Morsi's case," he said.

The development came as supporters of the army and of Mr Morsi prepared for mass demonstrations in response to a call by General Abdulfattah al-Sisi, the defence minister, for the public to rally in support of the army's "mandate" to confront "violence and terrorism".

DEADLINE

In a message entitled the "last chance", the army gave Mr Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood a 48-hour deadline, expiring today, to end protests and work with the new interim government, or face "consequences".

Mr Morsi's supporters interpreted the statement and the call for popular rallies as a direct threat.

"If working with Hamas and the other charges were a problem, why was his nomination for (the) presidency accepted?," said Mohammed Alaa (26), an engineer outside Cairo University.

During the past month, some Egyptian news channels have depicted the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies as hate-inciting terrorists and a threat to social order, despite the fact that most of the dead in recent clashes have been Muslim Brotherhood supporters.

Abdul Rahman Yousef, a political activist, said Mr Morsi's supporters and the army had left Egypt deeply damaged for decades to come. "I feel there is intention for confrontation," said Mr Yousef. "This will deepen the cracks in our society. Never before in Egyptian history, have its people been so divided." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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