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Egypt prosecutors announce criminal investigation into Mursi - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi speaks during a news conference with Turkish President Abdullah Gul (not pictured) after their meeting at Presidential Palace "Qasr Al Quba" in Cairo February 7, 2013. (REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)

Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi speaks during a news conference with Turkish president Abdullah Gül (not pictured) after their meeting at Presidential Palace “Qasr Al-Quba” in Cairo on February 7, 2013. (REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)

London, Asharq Al-Awsat—Egypt’s public prosecutor’s office has announced that it is in the process of investigating complaints against deposed president Mohamed Mursi and senior members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

In a statement earlier today, the public prosecutor’s office revealed that accusations include spying, inciting the killing of protesters, attacking military barracks, and damaging the economy. The statement did not say who had filed the complaints against Egypt’s first Islamist president. Egyptian law allows prosecutors to investigate complaints from members of the public.

These complaints represent a first step in the Egyptian criminal process, allowing prosecutors to begin an investigation that could eventually lead to charges being filed against Mursi.

Prosecutors also continue to investigate allegations that Mursi and 30 other Muslim Brotherhood leaders escaped from prison in 2011 with the help of the Palestinian militant Hamas group. The jailbreak occurred during the popular uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak’s rule.

However, the US has lately called on Egypt’s military to free the deposed president, echoing a similar call hours earlier from Germany. Asked if Washington backs Germany’s calls for Mursi to be freed from house arrest, US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters: “We do agree.”

On Thursday, Washington had called on Egypt’s new leadership to stop the “arbitrary” arrest of Muslim Brotherhood members.

Islamist lawmakers of Egypt’s disbanded Shura Council called on the military to reinstate the ousted president earlier on Saturday, in addition to calling on other legislatures around the world not to recognize the country’s new leadership.

Mursi’s supporters continued to rally in Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square in eastern Cairo, nearly two weeks after what they dub a military coup removed the country’s first Islamist president from power. Mursi is believed to be held by Egypt’s Republican Guard in a barracks in Cairo.

Speaking at a mass rally earlier today, dozens of Islamist former parliamentarians accused the military of attempting to restore a “corrupt and dictatorial” regime and called for protests to continue until Mursi is reinstated.

The military-backed interim government, headed by interim president Adly Mansour, dissolved the upper house of Egypt’s parliament following Mursi’s ouster. The Salafist Al-Nour party, which had initially backed the military’s transitional roadmap, came out to reject the new president’s first constitutional decree, siding with the aggrieved Muslim Brotherhood.

Mursi’s supports have pledged to remain in the streets until the military meets their demands—the reinstatement of Mursi, the constitution and the legislature—while leading Brotherhood figure Essam El-Erian called for another mass rally on Monday.