Egypt’s new rulers gave new credence to a court case against the ousted president,Mohamed Morsi,and members of the Muslim Brotherhood Thursday over their escape from prison during the uprising that toppled his predecessor,Hosni Mubarak.
The case was transferred from an appeals court to the State Security prosecutor for further investigation. No charges have yet been filed. Its acceptance by powerful prosecutors follows the arrest of many Muslim Brotherhood members and is a new blow to the group by the military-backed government.
The detentions have been criticized by rights groups and the Obama administration,which spent Thursday walking back remarks made early in the day by a State Department spokeswoman,Jen Psaki,seeming to criticize Morsi as undemocratic and in so doing seeming to validate the militarys move to oust him.
Reuters reported that Psakis counterpart at Egypts Foreign Ministry,Badr Abdelatty,interpreted her remarks as a welcome signal that the US understood the political developments that Egypt is witnessing in recent days as embodying the will of the millions of Egyptians who took to the streets starting on June 30 to ask for their legitimate rights and call for early elections.
The Muslim Brotherhood denounced her remarks as hypocritical and further proof of what it has called American endorsement of the military takeover in Egypt.
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The renewed investigation of Morsi and members of the Muslim Brotherhood dates to the uprising that led to the ouster of Mubarak in 2011. Morsi and other Brotherhood leaders were arrested on January 28,and held in the Wadi Natroun prison north of Cairo,until they escaped two days later.
In a telephone call to Al Jazeera television immediately after the escape,Morsi said he was among more than 30 Brotherhood members,including 6 other members of its Guidance Bureau,who had been broken out of their cells by people they did not know.
Morsi has not been seen publicly since his ouster on July 3. It is unclear where he is being held,or whether he and the others will face the charges in court.