CAIRO - Egypt's army-installed government said on Sunday it would give a chance for mediation to resolve the crisis brought on by the overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, but warned that time was limited.
At the same time, a Cairo court announced that the leader of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood and his deputy will face trial in three weeks' time for crimes including incitement to murder during protests in the days before he was toppled.
That could complicate efforts by international envoys and Egyptian factions to launch a political process, encourage national reconciliation and avert further bloodshed.
But an imminent battle between security forces and thousands of Morsi supporters standing their ground in two protest camps in Cairo appeared less likely while the mediators talked.
The National Defence Council, made up of civilians and soldiers, said in a statement it backed mediation "that protects the rights of citizens regardless of their affiliations and that spares blood, as long as that happens in a defined and limited time." It did not specify a deadline.
The statement was issued one day after US and European envoys met separately with members of the new government and allies of Morsi.
The crisis has led Egypt, the Arab world's most populous state, to its most dangerous days since a popular uprising in February 2011 ended US-backed strongman Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule and raised hopes of a new era of democracy.
Morsi became Egypt's first freely-elected leader in June 2012. But fears that he was tightening an Islamist grip on the country and his failure to ease the economic hardships afflicting most of its 84 million people led to huge street demonstrations, culminating in the army ousting him on July 3.
The military has laid out a "road map" to elections in about six months and promises a return to civilian government. The Brotherhood, an Islamist movement that spent decades in the shadows during Mubarak's rule, had spurned the road map.
Almost 300 people have been killed in political violence since Morsi 's overthrow, including 80 shot dead by security forces in a single incident on July 27, and much of the Brotherhood's leadership is in custody.
A Cairo court said on Sunday it would start the trial of Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie and his deputy Khairat el-Shater on Aug. 25 on charges of inciting killings during the protests in the last day's of Morsi's rule.
The general prosecutor also ordered the pre-trial detention for 15 days of Rifaa El-Tahtawy, Mursi's former chief-of-staff, and his deputy, accused of inciting the detention, torture and interrogation of protesters in 2012.
Morsi's allies view them as political detainees who should be included in talks to ease tensions. Morsi, who has also been accused of murder and other crimes, is detained at an undisclosed location. (Continue Reading.)
Monday, August 5, 2013
Muslim Brotherhood Leaders to Stand Trial for Incitement to Murder in Egypt
These are the same guys the U.S. government supported.