Egypt's Morsi referred to criminal court over jailbreak charges   2013-12-21 21:42:57            
 • Morsi was referred Saturday to a criminal court over charges of 2011 prison break.
 • Morsi will stand trial along with more than 130 other Muslim Brotherhood members.
 • This is the third time for the Islamist leader to be referred to a criminal court.


File photo taken on Feb. 6, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt, shows Egypt's then President Mohamed Morsi during the summit of the 56-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). A top Egyptian court has ordered the detention of ousted Islamist-oriented President Mohamed Morsi for 15 days for investigations over charges of spying and jailbreak, official media reported on Friday July 26. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)

CAIRO, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- Egypt's deposed President Mohamed Morsi was referred Saturday to a criminal court over charges of 2011 prison break, state-run MENA news agency reported.

Morsi will stand trial along with more than 130 other Muslim Brotherhood members, and elements of the Palestinian militant group Hamas for storming the Wady al-Natroun prison and kidnapping and killing police officers during the 2011 uprising that toppled his predecessor Honsi Mubarak.

The other defendants include prominent Qatar-based cleric Yousef al-Qaradawi, official MENA said.

Qaradawi is wanted by the Egyptian police for inciting Morsi's supporters against the army-installed interim government publically.

The cleric, who is known as the Brotherhood's Godfather, has called on Morsi's backers to continue defying and facing what he deemed a "military coup" against Egypt's legitimately elected president.

His call was aired Friday on the Turkey-based Rabaa TV channel, which was named after the Rabaa al-Adawiya sit-in dispersed in mid- August by security forces in a crackdown leaving hundreds dead.

This is the third time that the Islamist leader has been referred to a criminal court. He also faces charges of inciting violence and murdering protesters outside the presidential palace in early December 2012. In addition, he will be tried over espionage charges.

On Saturday, the prosecutors charged that the Brotherhood, Hamas, Lebanese military party Hezbollah and jihadist militants attacked prisons and police on Jan. 28, 2011, three days after massive protests broke out in the streets demanding Mubarak's stepping down.

About 50 policemen were killed and thousands of prisoners ran away after three jails, including Natroun, were stormed, MENA added.

The defendants are also accused of kidnapping four policemen, fighting Egyptian authorities and carrying out aggressive activities that threatened the state's unity and safety.

They also set ablaze several governmental and police premises and robbed them of weapons and ammunition.

The investigations also uncovered terrorist plans to demolish state institutions and ceding part of the Sinai Peninsula to Palestinians living in Gaza, the report added.

They also unveiled communication aimed at staging terrorist attacks between Morsi and Ahmed Abdel Aaty, a member of the International Organization for Brotherhood, and elements of Hamas and Hezbollah.

During the early days of the 2011 unrest, the interior ministry ordered the police forces to withdraw from the streets to show that they were not attacking the protesters. While Mubarak and his interior minister Habib Adli got charged with killing the protesters, their defense lawyer team blamed members of Hamas, Hezbollah and the Brotherhood for the violence.


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Editor: Tang Danlu
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