CAIRO — The military-backed government filed new criminal charges on Wednesday against Mohamed Morsi, the deposed president, accusing him of participating in an epic terrorist plot that involved killing protesters and leaking state secrets to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
A statement from the chief prosecutor described the case against Mr. Morsi as the biggest of its kind in Egyptian history. Human rights groups strongly disagreed, calling the allegations preposterous, in part because of their vast scale and complexity.
Prosecutors accused Mr. Morsi, a former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, of having allied with the historic enemies of the security forces and the military. Prosecutors charged that, in addition to colluding with Iran, Mr. Morsi plotted with the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah and with the Palestinian Sunni group Hamas, and that he planned to work with extremists to declare an Islamic emirate in Sinai.
“They are pretty fantastical, to say the least,” Sarah Leah Whitson, the regional director for Human Rights Watch, said of the accusations. “Through both legal processes and their control of the media, the government has been trying to generate this notion that the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization carrying out violent acts, with the absence of any evidence, and these charges really underscore the extent to which the government is focused on exterminating the Muslim Brotherhood as a political opposition. It is an all-out campaign to destroy it.”
In addition to Mr. Morsi, several of his top presidential advisers, the supreme guide of the Brotherhood and more than two dozen other Brotherhood leaders were charged with participating in the same collaboration. It was the first time the government announced any charges against several of the Morsi advisers who had been detained incommunicado since July 3, when Gen. Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi removed Mr. Morsi at the end of his first year in office.
Among the advisers charged for the first time was Essam el-Haddad, Mr. Morsi’s foreign policy adviser and a former physician and philanthropist who became a main contact with the United States government, meeting once in the Oval Office with President Obama.
If convicted, the defendants could face the death penalty.
Outlining the charges in only broad terms, the prosecutor’s statement said the scheme “to collaborate with foreign organizations to commit terrorist acts inside of Egypt” extended as far back as 2005. That was the year of former President Hosni Mubarak’s last re-election and the birth of the opposition coalition that ultimately brought down Mr. Mubarak in 2011. The prosecutors said the plot begun in 2005 was “completed” in 2011, when “security forces and citizens were assaulted with firearms in different places to further establish a state of chaos and damage Egyptian national security.”
The prosecutors said that the scheme involved smuggling arms through the country’s western borders, and that the plotters had arranged for Brotherhood members to obtain military training from Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Revolutionary Guards in Iran. The prosecutors also said that the Brotherhood had arranged for others to receive training in how to “launch rumors” and “direct public opinion.”
Mayy El Sheikh contributed reporting.
By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
Taken from : http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/19/world/middleeast/egypt-accuses-morsi-of-vast-terrorist-plot.html?ref=middleeast&_r=0