Former President Mohamed Morsi and 14 members of the Freedom and Justice Party were referred to the Cairo Criminal Court by Attorney General Hisham Barakat on Sunday, charged with killing protesters. Morsi and the FJP members are charged with killing peaceful protesters when a demonstration outside Itahadeya, the presidential palace, was attacked.
Pro-Morsi mobs attacked a peaceful sit-in outside the presidential palace in December. Ten were killed and dozens injured.
Among those charged alongside the former president are FJP and Muslim Brotherhood leaders Mohamed el-Beltagy and Essam el-Erian; presidential aid Assad el-Sheikh; Ahmed Abdul Atty, head of the president’s office; presidential advisor Ayman Abdul Rauf; Alla Hamza; activists Abdulrahman Ezz; Ahmed al-Mughir; Sheikh Wagdy Ghoniem; Gamal Saber, coordinator of Hazemon; and four other Brotherhood figures.
The defendants face charges of murdering protesters while forcefully dispersing the sit-in outside Itahadeya.
The mentioned sit-in was organized by opposition forces condemning the constitutional addendum declared by Morsi on November 22, in which he declared all his decisions to be immune from judicial review.
Investigations by the prosecution suggested that Beltagy, Erian and Ghoniem and others publicly incited the Brotherhood’s supporters to forcefully disperse the sit-in.
Investigations revealed evidence that the defendants and their supporters attacked peaceful protesters, uprooted their tents and shot at them, resulting in the deaths of ten protesters. Among those killed was journalist El-Hussainy Abu Daief, who was shot in the head while covering the protests, leading to his sudden death.
The Brotherhood supporters captured 54 protesters, attacking them with knives.
The public prosecution accuses the toppled president of inciting to kill protesters and practicing thuggery against them.
During the controversy surrounding December’s violence, Vice Presidential Advisor Mahmoud Mekki held a press conference, saying, “the final judge between regime and opposition is the ballot box.”
Mekki said Morsi’s insistence on holding a referendum in a timely manner meant the president “targets legitimacy” through the ballot box, striving to “solve the crisis through the people’s votes.”
Mekki then made a controversial statement, saying “survival for the strongest,” angering many Egyptians.
The press conference was held while protesters were being attacked outside the presidential palace, with reports that protesters were being tortured outside its gates. Police officers were accused of doing nothing to uphold the law, and the Presidential Guard inside the palace made no attempt to end the assaults outside the gates.
Mekki ended the press briefing suddenly.
Yesterday Attorney General Hisham Barakat ordered a continuation of the temporarily detention of suspected MB leaders in that case, and ordered the arrest of another eight suspects, currently at large.
Translated from Youm7.