Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed Badie and 51 other defendants will stand trial on Tuesday, 1 April in a new case against leaders of the group that was classified as a terrorist organisation by the interim government.
The 52 defendants are charged with “forming an operations room to direct the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood group to defy the government during the Rabaa sit-in dispersal and to spread chaos in the country,” according to a statement that was released by the prosecutor general’s office last month.
The prosecution alleged that Badie, aided by other Brotherhood members, including former spokesman and Guidance Bureau member Mahmoud Ghozlan, plotted to “spread chaos in the country, break into police stations, government institutions, private property, and churches”.
The defence is also accused of “fabricating pictures and scenes that imply fatalities and injuries among demonstrators” during the violent dispersal of the pro-Mohamed Morsi sit-in at Rabaa Al-Adaweya on 14 August. The prosecution also alleged that the Brotherhood leaders “prepared false statements” to mislead the public.
The Fifth Circuit Giza Criminal Court will preside over the case, according to state-owned Al-Ahram.
Badie is involved in a number of other cases within the framework of the larger security crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood. Last week he did not appear in court for a trial in which he is charged with blocking traffic, damaging public and private property, possession of illegal weapons, attacking and terrorising citizens to threaten national peace and spreading chaos during July protests in the city of Qaliub.
The Supreme Guide is also charged, in separate cases, with killing protesters on 30 June and 1 July, spying for the International Organisation of the Muslim Brotherhood, and escaping from Wadi El-Natrun Prison in 2011.
On 14 August 2013 the pro-Morsi sit-ins at Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Nahda Square, led by the Muslim Brotherhood and other supporters of the ousted president, were violently dispersed by security forces. According to the National Council for Human Rights, the death toll reached 632. However, some counts put the figure closer to 1,000 protesters.