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Egypt's Brotherhood rejects terrorism charges against Mursi

Source: Reuters - Thu, 19 Dec 2013 09:53 AM
Author: Reuters
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CAIRO, Dec 19 (Reuters) - The Muslim Brotherhood denounced the Egyptian authorities on Thursday for charging former President Mohamed Mursi and other Islamists with terrorism and conspiring with foreign groups, saying the allegations were "risible".

The Brotherhood also reiterated calls for all nations to put pressure on Egypt to free Mursi a day after the public prosecutor ordered him and 35 other top Brotherhood leaders to stand trial on charges that could result in the death penalty.

The prosecutor declared it "the biggest case of conspiracy in the history of Egypt", detailing a "terrorist plan" dating back to 2005 that implicated the Palestinian group Hamas, Iran's Shi'ite Islamist government its Lebanese ally Hezbollah.

The trial date has yet to be set.

In a statement released from London and received in the early hours of Thursday, the Brotherhood rejected the charges as a "new episode of the military coup's crimes against the Egyptian people."

"The junta's judges continue to fabricate risible allegations against the democratically elected president and a number of leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood," it said.

Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, also dismissed the allegations against it as "fabrications and lies".

Egypt's army-backed government has cracked down hard on the Brotherhood since the army deposed Mursi on July 3 after mass protests against his rule, killing hundreds of its supporters and arresting thousands more.

Mursi and most of the top leaders named in the new case are already in jail, many of them already charged with inciting violence. (Reporting by Yasmine Saleh; Editing by Tom Perry and Alister Doyle)

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