Egypt’s new Prosecutor General, Talaat Abdullah, on Sunday ordered a probe in a complaint against opposition leaders and former presidential candidates Amr Moussa, Mohammed ElBaradei and Hamdeen Sabbahi of grand treason and sedition.
The daily Youm7 newspaper reported that the complaint contained allegations that the three prominent leaders were plotting to overthrow elected President Mohammed Mursi by inciting protests and encouraging protesters to break into the presidential palace.
Founder of the Constitution Party ElBaradei, head of the Conference Party Moussa and founder of the Popular Current Party Sabahy all declared their support and participation in the ongoing sit-in in Cairo’s Tahrir Square until Mursi’s constitutional decree is revoked.
The complaint against the former presidential candidates, as well as Wafd party leader Sayed Badawi was filed by Hamed Sadek, a lawyer, and it claimed as well that the prominent opposition leaders “secretly met Israel’s former foreign minister Tzipi Livni to drum up domestic turmoil and bring the country to its knees.”
Egypt tipped into turmoil after Mursi grabbed powers to stop any court action aimed at hindering the transition. An assembly led by the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists then swiftly approved the constitution it had spent six months drafting.
Opponents, including minority Christians, had already quit the assembly in dismay, saying their voices were being ignored.
A leftist group led by defeated presidential candidate Sabahy demanded the referendum be deferred until a consensus could be reached on a new draft, saying there could be “no dialogue while blood is being spilled in the streets.”
After the dialogue hosted by Mursi, a spokesman announced that the president had issued a new decree whose first article “cancels the constitutional declaration” of Nov. 22. He said the referendum could not be delayed for legal reasons.
The decree ignited more than two weeks of sometimes bloody protests and counter-rallies in Egypt. Mursi’s foes have chanted for his downfall. Islamists fear a plot to oust the most populous Arab nation’s first freely elected leader.
The April 6 movement, prominent in the anti-Mubarak revolt, derided the result of Saturday’s talks as “manipulation and a continuation of deception in the name of law and legitimacy.”
Islamists reckon they can win the referendum and, once the new constitution is in place, a parliamentary poll about two months later. The Islamist-led lower house elected this year was dissolved after a few months by a court order.