Senior Islamists to stand trial for incitement

Muslim Brotherhood leaders Mohamed Badie and Mohamed al-Beltagy have been referred to a criminal court on charges of inciting violence in Qalyub last July, according to a report by the official Middle East News Agency (MENA).

The charges stem from violent clashes in the city north of Cairo, in which two people died during clashes with police.

Forty-eight other defendants were referred with Badie, the Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide, and Beltagy. Among the defendants are Bassem Ouda, former minister of supply.

Charges against the men include belonging to a banned group, vandalism, possession of weapons, terrorizing citizens and disturbing public order. The Muslim Brotherhood was ruled a banned group by an administrative court in September, following the removal of President Mohamed Morsi on July 3.

National Security investigations report that several Muslim Brotherhood leaders present at the Rabea al-Adaweya sit-in gave direct orders to armed groups to gather in the governorates of Qaluibiya, Menufiya, Kafr al-Sheikh, Beni Suef, Beheira, Fayoum and Cairo.

The groups were ordered to block roads and terrorize citizens, MENA reported.

Badie and Beltagy were arrested during the late-August crackdown on senior leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood. Scores of political figures were rounded up by the police after the August 14 dispersal of two sit-ins demanding the reinstatement of President Morsi.

Badie is also facing charges of inciting violence against protesters demonstrating in front of the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in Moqattam, an eastern suburb of Cairo, on June 30, attempted murder and illegal possession of arms with the intention to commit terrorist acts. Eight people died during the clashes between demonstrators and supporters of the Brotherhood.

Beltagy is also accused of inciting violence in Ramses Square in mid-July, including an attempted attack on the Azbakeya police station, the assault of police officers and blocking the October 6 Bridge.

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