Cairo: One week after the military overthrew President Mohamed Morsi and began moving against his Muslim Brotherhood movement, prosecutors on Wednesday issued a warrant for the arrest of the group’s supreme leader, Mohammed Badie, as well as nine other leading Islamists.
According to a statement from the prosecutor general’s office, they are suspected of instigating the violence on Monday outside of a Republican Guard building that grew into the worst violence since Mr. Morsi was toppled and left 54 people - most of them Morsi supporters - dead.
The military already has jailed five Brotherhood leaders, including Mr. Badie’s powerful deputy, Khairat el-Shaiter, and shut down its media outlets.
Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad Haddad said in his Twitter account that the arrest warrants were the return of “same old police-state tactics.” The Brotherhood was banned under autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
Members of the Brotherhood and other Islamists have denounced the toppling of Mr. Morsi and have refused offers by the military-backed interim leadership to join any transition plan for a new government. They demand nothing less than Mr. Morsi’s reinstatement.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Badr Abdel-Atti gave the first official word on Mr. Morsi in days, saying the ousted leader was in a safe place and was being treated in a “very dignified manner.” No charges have been levelled against him, Mr. Abdel-Atti said.
The military-backed interim President, Adly Mansour, issued a fast-track timetable on Monday for the transition. His declaration set out a seven-month timetable for elections but also a truncated, temporary constitution laying out the division of powers in the meantime.
The secular, revolutionary youth movement Tamarod that organised massive anti-Morsi demonstrations that led to his ouster also criticised the plan, in part because it gives too much power to Mr. Mansour, including the power to issue laws. New Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi, who was appointed Tuesday by Mr. Mansour, is holding consultations on a Cabinet. In what is seen as an attempt at reconciliation, Mr. Beblawi has said he will offer the Brotherhood posts in his transitional government.
A Brotherhood spokesman said the group will not take part in an interim Cabinet, and that talk of national reconciliation under the current circumstances is “irrelevant.” Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates provided a welcome boost on Tuesday. The two countries, both opponents of Mr. Morsy’s Brotherhood, celebrated his ouster by showering the cash-strapped Egyptian government with promises of $8 billion in grants, loans and badly needed gas and oil. On Wednesday, Kuwait said it would offer an aid package worth $4 billion.
The donations effectively step in for Mr. Morsy’s Gulf patron, Qatar, a close ally of the Brotherhood that gave his government several billion in aid during his year in office.