Morsi and 35 Brothers face terrorism and espionage charges

Egypt’s prosecutor general leveled new charges against deposed President Mohamed Morsi and 35 other leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood Wednesday, including plotting acts of terrorism, conspiring with foreign elements, and threatening Egypt’s national security by disclosing secrets to foreign powers.

Morsi and his co-defendants allegedly collaborated with the Palestinian Islamic resistance group, Hamas, Lebanon’s Hezbollah, and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards against the country’s best interests.

According to the prosecution, Morsi and his associates sought military training for Brotherhood members by smuggling them through illegal tunnels into the Gaza Strip, where they allegedly received combat-training at the hands of Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

The plan was allegedly for the trained militants to return to Egypt to carry out terrorist operations at the behest of Morsi, the prosecution added.

Charges of terrorism and conspiring with foreign elements could carry the death penalty, or life imprisonment.

Defense lawyers dismissed all charges as being baseless and trumped-up.

Other senior Brotherhood figures charged alongside Morsi include: Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie and his two deputies Khairat al-Shater and Mahmoud Ezzat, former parliamentary speaker Mohamed Saad al-Katatny, members of the Guidance Bureau Mohamed el-Beltagy, Essam al-Erian and Saad al-Husseini, former head of the office of the presidency Mohamed Refaa al-Tahtawi and his deputy Asaad el-Sheikha, director of the office of the former president Ahmed Abdel-Ati, and 25 other members.

Morsi and his associates were initially charged with escaping from prison on January 28, 2011 — facilitated by Hamas and Hezbollah militants.

Additional charges leveled against Morsi include: Conspiring to kill and torture oppositional protesters outside Ittihadiya Presidential Palace in December 2012.

Several anti-Morsi protesters were killed, tens reportedly tortured, and hundreds of others injured at the hands of Morsi supporters who had been deployed outside the palace.

Morsi was deposed by the military on July 3, after a popular uprising against him was launched on June 30. Before standing trial, he was detained in a secret location for four months, without any official charges being leveled against him.

His first public appearance since his deposition was on November 4, when the ousted President refused to recognize the jurisdiction of the court. His case has been adjourned until January 8.

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