Egypt’s Mursi to stand trial for ‘espionage’

The charges against Mursi and the other top Muslim Brotherhood members include conspiring with foreign groups, such as Hamas

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Egypt’s ousted Islamist president Mohammad Mursi and 34 others were ordered on Wednesday to stand trial on charges of espionage, according to state media.

The Brotherhood’s supreme guide Mohammad Badie and his two deputies are also facing the charges.

Mursi who was deposed in July by the army following mass protests against his rule and is already on trial over allegations of inciting the killing of protesters outside the presidential palace a year ago.

Prosecutors have also investigated his alleged links to Hamas during mass prison breaks during the anti-Mubarak Jan 25 uprising in 2011, during which Mursi and other Islamist prisoners escaped.

In a statement, the prosecutor said the Brotherhood had committed acts of violence and terrorism in Egypt and prepared a “terrorist plan” that included an alliance with the Palestinian group Hamas and Lebanon's Hezbollah, according to Reuters.

Some of the defendants, including Mursi's former second in command Essam Haddad, were also accused of betraying state secrets to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Agence France-Presse reported.

Other defendants of trial include former aids and local leaders of the political organization.

The prosecution also alleged the Muslim Brotherhood was involved in a surge of attacks on soldiers and police following Mursi’s overthrow, mostly in the Sinai peninsula.

Some of the attacks, which have killed dozens of soldiers and policemen, have been claimed by Al-Qaeda inspired groups with no known links to the Brotherhood.

But prosecutors say the attacks were carried out to “bring back the deposed president and to bring Egypt back into the Muslim Brotherhood's grip.”

The charges against Mursi and the other top Muslim Brotherhood members on Wednesday could result in their execution.

(With AFP and Reuters)

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