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Egypt jails Morsi on charges of conspiring with Hamas

Egyptian authorities on Friday ordered ousted president Mohamed Morsi to be detained for 15 days pending further investigations on charges of conspiring to carry out “hostile acts” in the country, reported state-run newspaper al-Ahram online.

The order was issued by an investigative judge who charged Morsi with conspiring to help the Palestinian Islamist Hamas movement carry out the acts in the country during a popular uprising that ended the rule of Morsi’s predecessor,Hosni Mubarak, in early 2011, read the report.

The acts, which have been attributed to Hamas, include attacks upon security buildings, jailbreaks, the premeditated murder of policemen and abduction of others.

The judge questioned Morsi and presented him with evidence, said al-Ahram. It did not say how Morsi reacted.

Mubarak’s police had detained Morsi and more than 30 leaders of his Muslim Brotherhood group without charges at the peak of the 2011 uprising.

They were freed along with many other inmates from a prison located west of Cairo after gunmen raided the jail.

An Egyptian court said in June that Morsi and the other Brotherhood leaders had been freed “thanks to an international plot” involving Hamas, the Lebanese movement Hezbollah and local militants.

Morsi has been in the army’s custody at an undisclosed location since the military deposed him on July 3, after millions of Egyptians protested to demand his resignation.

Friday’s detention order comes on the heels of calls from the U.S., the EU and the UN for his release.

A Brotherhood official has dismissed Morsi’s detention as a “farce”.

“This decision has not been made by the judge, but by the military,” the Islamist group’s spokesman Ahmed Sabeeh, said.

“This is a fabricated case, which reminds us of the practices of the Mubarak regime,” he told the Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera.

Morsi’s backers and opponents were, meanwhile, rallying for rival demonstrations across the country, mainly in Cairo, amid fears about further violence between them.

Scores of anti-Islamist activists were turning out at central Cairo’s Tahrir Square in response to a call made by army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi, who engineered Morsi’s ouster.

Army tanks and armoured vehicles have been deployed around the iconic square as volunteers manned checkpoints to verify participants’ identities. Pro-al-Sissi banners were hung across the space.

Al-Sissi has called upon Egyptians to take to the streets nationwide to back a possible crackdown by the army upon Morsi’s Brotherhood, which opponents accuse of inciting violence in the country since the Islamist leader’s removal.

The Brotherhood and allied Islamists have denounced al-Sissi’s call as a “declaration of civil war” and vowed to continue protests until Morsi is restored to office.

The Islamist group’s followers were on Friday flocking to the area of Rabaa al-Adawiya, in north-eastern Cairo, joining many others who have been camping there for weeks to protest what they call a military coup against Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president.

Dozens have been killed in Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country, since Morsi’s overthrow. (dpa/NAN)


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