World Bulletin/News Desk
Top leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, currently detained over multiple charges, urged the group members to stick to peacefulness and not to resort to violence after former military chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi unveiled plans to run for presidency.
The call was delivered to the group members through his lawyers who talked to him during Saturday's session of his trial – along with others – on charges of incitement to violence in connection with clashes between backers and opponents of ousted president Mohamed Morsi outside the Brotherhood's main headquarters in Moqattam district last year, Aisha al-Shater, daughter of Badie's deputy Khairat al-Shater, told Anadolu Agency.
According to Aisha, Badie said: "Don't make al-Sisi's presidential bid lead you to use violence. Continue your peaceful [protesting]!"
During his talk with his lawyers, Badie said that al-Sisi's announcement proves that Morsi's ouster by the army last July was "a military coup and that the al-Sisi craves power."
"Don’t you let the coup leader's presidency bid lead you to despair and violence, and always keep your peacefulness," Aisha quoted Badie as saying.
Badie and al-Shater are accused of inciting violence that erupted on June 30 outside the Brotherhood's headquarters in Cairo's Moqattam district in which at least nine people were killed and scores injured.
The list of defendants in the case also includes Badie's other deputy, Rashad Bayoumi; Saad al-Katatni, leader of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party; and senior party leaders Essam Erian and Mohamed al-Beltagi.
Prosecutors accuse the defendants of distributing weapons and planning attacks on opposition protesters outside the group's headquarters.
The defendants, for their part, dismiss all the accusations against them as politically motivated.
Egyptian authorities have unleashed a massive crackdown on the Brotherhood since the bloody dispersal last year of two pro-Morsi protest camps in which hundreds of demonstrators were killed by security forces.
Badie, the supreme guide of the Brotherhood, the movement from which Morsi hails, was arrested on August 20 in an apartment in eastern Cairo, six days after security forces violently dispersed the two major pro-Morsi sit-ins.
Since then, Egypt's military-backed authorities have rounded up hundreds of the Brotherhood's senior and mid-ranking members, hundreds of whom remain in detention.
On Wednesday, al-Sisi, who led the army to unseat Morsi in July, resigned and announced his intention to run in Egypt's upcoming presidential election, whose date has not yet been set.
Al-Sisi is widely seen as the driving force behind Morsi's ouster by the army.Last Mod: 30 Mart 2014, 16:42