Egypt’s opposition under probe for coup plot charges

Egypt’s opposition under probe for coup plot charges

Egypt’s opposition under probe for coup plot charges

EPA Photo

Egypt’s top prosecutor has ordered an investigation into accusations that opposition leaders are inciting an overthrow of the regime, according to an Egyptian official, in a move that came after a disputed charter was signed into law by the country’s president, Mohamed Morsi.

The prosecution official said yesterday that a judge will investigate the report filed last month accusing Mohammed ElBaradei, Nobel Prize laureate and former head of the U.N. nuclear agency, along with former foreign minister Amr Moussa and former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi, of inciting the overthrow of Morsi, Egypt’s first elected president.

The accusations were filed by a lawyer during a political crisis over a series of presidential decrees that granted Morsi and the committee drafting the disputed Constitution immunity from judicial oversight.

Deadly protests have erupted against the referendum on the draft charter, which the opposition says allows a dictatorship of the majority. They claim the charter’s provisions for greater implementation of Islamic law, or Shariah, would allow Islamists who hold the presidency and overwhelmingly dominate the temporary legislature to restrict civil rights and limit the freedoms of minorities and women.

‘New republic’

Opponents also say the low turnout in the referendum, just under 33 percent, undermines the document’s legitimacy.

Morsi, however, proclaimed the country’s newly adopted Constitution as the dawning of a “new republic” in a television address Dec. 26, after a month of violent turmoil, calling on the opposition to join a dialogue with him and focus on repairing a damaged economy. Morsi sought to present the charter as the turning of a historic page for Egypt. He offered no concrete gestures to an opposition that has so far rejected his dialogue and vowed to fight the Constitution.

Instead, he presented the Constitution, which was approved by almost 64 percent of the voters in a referendum that ended last weekend, as creating a democracy with balanced powers between branches of government and political freedoms.

“We don’t want to return to an era of one opinion and fake, manufactured majorities. The maturity and consciousness [of voters] heralds that Egypt has set out on a path of democracy with no return,” Morsi said.

“As we set on a new phase moving from the first republic to the second republic, a republic that has this Constitution as its strong base,” Morsi said.

Hosni Mubarak hospitalized 

CAIRO – Reuters

Egypt’s ousted President Hosni Mubarak will be moved to an army hospital from his prison clinic after his health deteriorated, security sources and state media said yesterday, suggesting the already fragile health of the man who ruled Egypt for 30 years was deteriorating. It was not yet clear when Mubarak would be moved nor exactly why, security sources said. “Mubarak will head to Maadi military hospital,” an army source said. Maadi is a suburb of Cairo. Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for three decades, was forced out in February 2011 after a popular uprising.