Deposed Egyptian president held in prison break probe

CAIRO Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:54am EDT

Egypt's President Mohamed Mursi reviews the troops in an official ceremony before a meeting with Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia May 8, 2013. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

Egypt's President Mohamed Mursi reviews the troops in an official ceremony before a meeting with Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia May 8, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Ueslei Marcelino

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CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian authorities have detained deposed President Mohamed Mursi for 15 days over an array of accusations, including killing soldiers and conspiring with the Palestinian group Hamas, the state news agency said on Friday.

The report came just hours before millions of Egyptians were expected to take to the streets in mass rallies for and against Egypt's first freely elected leader, who was ousted by the military on July 3.

Friday's step provided legal grounds for the continued detention of Mursi, who has been held by the military since he was ousted. The charges relate to his escape, along with other top Brotherhood leaders, from a prison north of Cairo.

The report on the state news agency said investigating judge Hassan Samir had confronted Mursi with evidence during his questioning. It did not say when or where he had been questioned.

A spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood, which says the army has staged a coup against the democratically elected head of state, described the accusations as "ridiculous". Gehad El-Haddad said the move marked the return of the "old regime".

Mursi and many other Brotherhood leaders were rounded up by the authorities during the 2011 uprising that swept Hosni Mubarak from power.

The accusations listed against Mursi included arson, destruction of prison records and "collaboration with Hamas to undertake aggressive acts in the country, attacking police facilities, officers and soldiers".

It also accused him of "killing some prisoners, officers and soldiers deliberately and with prior intent". It added the accusation of "kidnapping some officers and soldiers".

The authorities have issued a gag order stipulating the media may only publish official statements on the case, citing the secrecy of the investigations and national security.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the probe marked a "grave development", adding that the new government "viewed the Palestinian cause as hostile".

"We challenge the current rulers of Egypt to bring a single piece of evidence on their alleged claim Hamas has intervened in internal Egyptian affairs," he told Reuters.

(Adds dropped words in paragraphs 10 and 11)

(Reporting by Tom Perry in Cairo and Nidal al-Mughrabi in Gaza; Writing by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Michael Georgy)

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Comments (6)
unreeluknow wrote:
Lets hope they hang this terrorist and all this MB brothers.

Jul 26, 2013 6:13am EDT  --  Report as abuse
JerseyDave wrote:
If they are investigating the guy I hope they look into something the U.S. Media has avoided speculating on, but which is so glaringly obvious a question that it must be asked:

Did Morsi and his people in the Muslim Brotherhood have anything to do with the Benghazi attack in neighboring Libya, and if so, what did the United States Government know and when?

This is the number one question I’d like to have investigated.

Jul 26, 2013 8:58am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Miguel526 wrote:
US and even Reuters here, keep saying that Morsi was “the first freely elected government in Egyptian history”, or merely “freely elected”. We all can see and remember how the MB hijacked the media and the media exacerbated the Egyptian People’s desire to be free from Mubarik’s dictatorial rule as huge background emotion. The MB was the only organized political group, and Morsi was deeply involved in violence against the Egyptian military which, as it turns out, is far more interested in what’s good for the Egyptian People than the “news” prevaricators & liars of US and Western MSM.

Jul 26, 2013 9:51am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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