Egypt’s opposition leaders investigated
CAIRO • Egypt’s chief prosecutor ordered an investigation on Thursday into allegations that opposition leaders committed treason by inciting supporters to overthrow Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.
The probe by a Morsi-appointed prosecutor was launched a day after the president called for a dialogue with the opposition to heal rifts opened in the bitter fight over an Islamist-drafted constitution just approved in a referendum.
The opposition decried the investigation as a throwback to Hosni Mubarak’s regime, when the law was used to smear and silence opponents.
The allegations targeted opposition leaders Mohamed ElBaradei, a Nobel Peace laureate and former head of the UN nuclear agency, former Foreign Minister Amr Moussa, and Hamdeen Sabahi. Both Moussa and Sabahi were presidential candidates who competed against Morsi in the last election.
There was no immediate comment by any of the three opposition leaders named but the opposition dismissed the allegations.
Emad Abu Ghazi, secretary-general of the opposition party ElBaradei heads, said the investigation was “an indication of a tendency toward a police state and the attempt to eliminate political opponents.” He said the ousted Mubarak regime dealt with the opposition in the same way. Mubarak jailed his opponents, including liberals and Islamists. International rights groups said their trials did not meet basic standards of fairness.
ElBaradei was a leading figure behind the uprising against Mubarak and at one point, he was allied with the Brotherhood against the old regime.