AFP – An Egyptian court has ordered that ousted president Mohamed Morsi be detained for questioning over suspected collaboration with Palestinian militant group Hamas, official MENA news agency reported Friday.
Morsi will be quizzed on whether he collaborated with Hamas in attacks on police stations and prison breaks in early 2011, in which the Islamist and other political inmates escaped during the revolt against strongman Hosni Mubarak, it said.
The alleged crimes are being investigated by a Cairo court that was tasked to determine how inmates broke out of a prison late January 2011, after accusations Morsi’s Islamist group sought the help of the Hamas rulers of Gaza.
Gehad El-Haddad, a spokesman for Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood denounced the detention order, saying Mubarak’s regime was “signalling ‘we’re back in full force.'”
On June 23, a court had said Hamas militants facilitated the escape of prisoners during the tumultuous 18-day uprising that forced out Mubarak.
At the time, Morsi, then a senior Brotherhood leader, told a television station Egyptians had helped the prisoners escape.
The order comes as a tense Egypt braced Friday for a showdown in the streets between supporters of Morsi and his army-backed opponents, who have called rival rallies across the Arab world’s most populous country.
Tensions soared when the military reportedly gave Morsi’s backers until the end of Friday to end sit-in protests they began after the army deposed the Islamist president on July 3.
Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood and allied Islamist groups have vowed to press their protests until he is reinstated and have sharpened the rhetoric by warning of “civil war”, while calling for a huge turnout on the streets on Friday.