Minister of Transitional Justice Mohamed Amin al-Mahdi on Tuesday said that only the Egyptian judiciary could designate the Muslim Brotherhood a "terrorist group."
Al-Mahdi's statements came hard on the heels of similar remarks by interim Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawi regarding the status of Egypt's embattled Brotherhood.
"Al-Beblawi's remarks on the Brotherhood's status are legally valid because it's up to the judiciary alone to name any group a terrorist organization," al-Mahdi said at a conference in Cairo.
On Monday, al-Beblawi had said that his government was not concerned about the Brotherhood's status, adding that this could only be changed via judicial ruling.
A Cairo court in September officially banned the activities of the Brotherhood, the group from which ousted president Mohamed Morsi hails, dissolving its NGO and freezing its assets.
Since Morsi's July 3 ouster by the military, Egypt's new military-backed rulers have launched a wide-ranging crackdown on Islamist figures and groups.
Authorities have detained hundreds of the group's top and mid-ranking leaders, including Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie and two top aides.
Much of Egypt's pro-army media has portrayed the crackdown on the Brotherhood and Morsi's Islamist allies as a "war against terrorism."
Al-Mahdi said that if a court designated the Brotherhood as a terrorist group, the government "would be committed to enforcing the ruling."
"The government is an executive authority and can only apply the law," he said.
"When a court ruled to ban all Brotherhood activities and freeze the group's assets, the government enforced it," al-Mahdi said.
AALast Mod: 26 Kasım 2013, 17:20