The prosecutor general ordered on Friday the detention of Islamist leader Mohamed Al-Beltagy for 15 days pending investigation over charges of inciting torture, murder and terrorism.
He was arrested after hiding for nearly a week with fellow Muslim Brotherhood leader, Khaled Al-Azhari, in Teresa, a village on the outskirts of Cairo. He is currently being held in Torah Prison.
During the five-hour interrogation that led to his detention, Al-Beltagy told the prosecution he is being held for “trumped-up charges” and that the cases brought against him are politically motivated.
Al-Beltagy faces two rounds of charges over accusations of torture and murder during the December 2012 anti-government protests in front of the presidential palace and during the recent pro-Morsi sit-ins at Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Al-Nahda Square.
Among other charges, he is accused of partaking in the kidnapping and torture of two police officers during the Rabaa Al-Adaweya sit-in, inciting violence during the December 2012 protests and stockpiling weapons.
Al-Beltagy defended himself in front of the prosecution when asked about several notorious statements he made during the two pro-Morsi sit-ins.
He said the public misunderstood his claim that “violence in Sinai will stop the second Al-Sisi overturns the coup.” He claimed this did not refer to terrorist attacks but to protests.
He also said describing pro-Morsi protesters as “millions of martyrs” expressed that people would hold their ground even in the face of danger, and was not a promotion of violence.
He emphasised to the prosecution that his party’s philosophy rejects violence and blamed the media for portraying “the anti-coup force” as terrorists. He said the media portrays this image to bolster the supporters of the 30 June uprising.
On Thursday, his son Anas Al-Beltagy said on his Facebook page that he holds the defence and interior ministers responsible for the safety of his father.
“The world saw how the leader of terrorists and the initiator of violence, as the pro-coup media states, was arrested without any resistance amid claims that the [Muslim Brotherhood] possess light and heavy weapons,” he posted.
Anas Al-Beltagy’s claims come amid accusations of police torturing Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie following his arrest on 20 August.
Ministry of Interior spokesman Mohsen Sarhan said that these accusations are false.
“Badie and Al-Beltagy are in the custody of the prosecutor general, and there were no signs of mistreatment during interrogations,” he said.