Mursi to stand trial on terrorism charges

Published Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Updated at 4:15pm: Egypt's public prosecutor ordered deposed President Mohammed Mursi and 34 other Islamists to stand trial on charges including conspiring with foreign organizations to commit terrorist acts in Egypt and divulging military secrets to a foreign state.

In a statement, the prosecutor said that Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood had committed acts of violence and terrorism in Egypt and prepared a "terrorist plan."

The charge sheet called it "the biggest case of conspiracy in the history of Egypt". It accused the Brotherhood of carrying out attacks on security forces in North Sinai after he was deposed on July 3.

It said the Brotherhood had hatched a plan dating back to 2005 that would send "elements" to the Gaza Strip for military training.

The trial appears to stem from an investigation into prison breaks during a 2011 uprising against strongman Hosni Mubarak, when Mursi and other Islamist prisoners escaped.

Prosecutors have alleged the jailbreaks were carried out by Palestinian and Lebanese groups, who had members imprisoned under Mubarak.

Mursi is already standing trial for inciting violence during protests outside the presidential palace a year ago when he was still in office. He was ousted in July by the army following mass protests against his rule.

The Egyptian authorities have launched a fierce crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood since Mursi was removed from power, killing hundreds of his supporters during protests and arresting thousands more.

(Reuters, AFP, Al-Akhbar)

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