Mohamed Mursi. Photo Reuters
Deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi is to stand
trial on charges of committing and inciting violence, a state
prosecutor has decided, an escalation of the army-backed
authorities' crackdown on his Muslim Brotherhood.
The prosecutor, Hesham Barakat, referred Mursi and 14 other
Brotherhood members to a Cairo criminal court on charges of
"committing acts of violence, and inciting killing and
thuggery", the state news agency reported.
The charges relate to violence outside the presidential
palace last December, after Mursi had ignited protesters'
rage by expanding his powers.
Mursi is also being investigated over his escape from jail
during the 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak. He is accused
of murder and conspiring with the Palestinian group Hamas
during the prison break, though no formal charges have been
brought in that case.
Mursi was overthrown by the army on July 3, just a year into
his four-year term, following mass protests against his rule.
Since then, the authorities have mounted a fierce crackdown
against the Brotherhood, rounding up most of its top leaders.
The security forces have also killed hundreds of Mursi
supporters during protests since his downfall.
In turn, the government accuses the Brotherhood of committing
acts of violence. Around 100 members of the security forces
have also been killed since August 14, when the police used
force to break up pro-Mursi protest camps in Cairo.