Egypt refers 919 Morsi loyalists to criminal court

Cairo, March 27: Egypt’s prosecution Wednesday referred 919 supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi to criminal court over violence and murder charges, the media reported.

The defendants, including the Muslim Brotherhood’s top leader Mohamed Badie, are accused of inciting violence and assaulting public properties in Egypt’s Minya province in August last year, after security dispersal of massive pro-Morsi sit-ins in Cairo and Giza provinces left about 1,000 people killed and thousands arrested, Xinhua reported.

Of the referred defendants 163 are currently in custody and the rest 756 are wanted fugitives.

On Monday, a criminal court in Minya sentenced 529 pro-Morsi defendants to death in a swift trial, sparking domestic and international human rights concerns. On Tuesday, the same court adjourned the trial of 683 defendants over similar charges to late April.

Egypt’s interim government has staged a massive crackdown on Morsi’s supporters, particularly those of the recently-blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood group, as a response to the anti-government protests since Morsi’s removal by the military last July.

IANS