Ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy and 35 other top Islamists will be tried for “espionage” and collaborating with foreign militant outfits like Hamas and Hezbollah to commit “terrorist acts” in the country, state media said on Wednesday.
Mr. Morsy, toppled by the military in July 2013, is already on trial and in jail for alleged involvement in the killings of opposition protesters.
The deposed leader will stand trial with 35 co-defendants, including prominent members of his Muslim Brotherhood and former presidential advisers.
Mr. Morsy, 62, has been accused of “espionage for foreign organisations abroad to commit terrorist attacks in the country,” the state-run MENA news agency reported.
Mr. Morsy and 35 co-defendants have been accused of “collaborating with foreign organisations to commit terrorist acts in Egypt, revealing defence secrets to foreign countries, funding terrorists and military training to achieve the purposes of the international organisation of the Brotherhood,” a statement by the prosecutor-general’s office was quoted as saying by Ahram Online.
In the statement, the prosecutor said that Mr. Morsy’s Muslim Brotherhood had committed acts of violence and terrorism in Egypt and prepared a “terrorist plan” that included an alliance with the Palestinian militant group Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
The accusations seem to be in connection with Morsy’s escape from prison during the 2011 uprising.
The prosecution statement labelled the trial as the “biggest case in Egypt’s history of conspiring against Egypt,” Al Jazeera quoted sources as saying.
According to the statement, the Muslim Brotherhood had been involved in smuggling weapons and allowing its members to enter Gaza through tunnels in the Sinai to receive training from factions of Hezbollah and Iranians.
It also said members had received training on communication and dealing with media through communication with the West through Qatar and Turkey.
Last month, Mr. Morsy went on trial on charges of incitement in connection with clashes between his supporters and opposition protesters outside the Ittihadiya presidential palace in Cairo in December 2012, in which at least seven people died.
Proceedings have been adjourned until January 8, 2013 but Mr. Morsy will also go on trial on December 23, 2013 on separate fraud charges connected with the Brotherhood’s economic and social programme for Egypt’s recovery, called Renaissance (Nahda).