Muslim Brotherhood leaders, Mubarak face trial in Egypt

Updated: 2013-08-26 06:58


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Muslim Brotherhood leaders, Mubarak face trial in Egypt

A supporter of the Egyptian Army holds a placard and an Australian national flag during a rally in central Sydney August 24, 2013.


Charges against Badie and his aides include incitement to violence in connection with an anti-Brotherhood protest near the group's Cairo headquarters on June 30 in which nine people were killed and 91 wounded. The 70-year-old Brotherhood chief was detained last week. Shater and Bayoumy were picked up earlier.

Mohamed Gharib, one of the lawyers defending the three Brotherhood leaders, said the trial was less an effort to try the suspects on the facts of the case than an attempt by the military to "get rid of its political foes".

Gharib said Badie had been beaten during his arrest, losing his false teeth and glasses in the process, though pictures issued soon after his arrest did not show serious injuries.

"Justice has been turned upside down. The real victims are being hauled to jails and accused of inciting killing," he said.

Pro-Mursi crowds staged small marches on Friday, but the Brotherhood's street power appears to have faded after the round-up of its leaders and the bloody dispersal of protest camps set up in Cairo to demand the president's reinstatement.

A pro-Mursi alliance known as the National Coalition to Support Legitimacy and Reject the Coup called for a campaign of civil disobedience to paralyze Egypt, "retake the revolution" and reverse the army takeover.

A day earlier, in a sign of confidence, the government relaxed a night-time curfew, saying it would start at 9 p.m. (1900 GMT), instead of 7 p.m. The month-long curfew was imposed on August 14, the day the pro-Mursi protest vigils were stormed. Banks and financial institutions are working normally again.

Castigating foes of the army, a spokesman for interim President Adly Mansour said Egypt had undergone difficulties in the past two months, but had reached a "safe area".

"Those who tried and are still trying to break the Egyptian army will fall alongside the Tatars and Crusaders and all other enemies in the same dustbin," said Ahmed al-Muslimani.

The army has announced a roadmap back to democracy that involves revising the constitution adopted under Mursi in late 2012, with parliamentary and presidential elections to follow.

Changes proposed by a government-appointed legal panel would scrap last year's Islamic additions to the constitution and revive a Mubarak-era voting system. Islamists and liberals have expressed alarm about the suggestions.

Egyptian authorities arrested an Islamist militant, saying he was close to the brother of al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri and had supplied arms to Mursi's supporters.

Security sources said the authorities described the man, Daoud Khairat, as the "right-hand man" of Mohamed al-Zawahri, who was himself arrested in Egypt on August 17. The Brotherhood denies using firearms and says it has no links to al Qaeda.

Earlier, the army said it had captured five militants in Sheikh Zuweid, a town in North Sinai, saying they had been involved in attacks on security forces in the area.

A son of senior Brotherhood politician Mohamed al-Beltagi was also detained in the southern city of Beni Suef, the security sources said, in a continuing wave of arrests.

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