A Cairo criminal court has put opposition figure and former Islamist presidential candidate Abdel-Moneim Abul Fotouh and 15 others on its terrorist list for alleged ties to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group, Egypt's state news agency MENA said on Tuesday.
Abul-Fotouh was arrested last week, a day after he returned from London where he had given interviews critical of the govenment.
The terrorism-list designation decision followed a request from State Security prosecutors after investigations showed Abul-Fotouh and the others "led and joined a group established in violation of the law with the aim of harming the intersts of the Egyptian state," MENA said, in reference to the Muslim Brotherhood group.
According to Egypt's "Terrorism Entity" law, individuals placed on the terrorism list are banned from travel, added on a watch list and subjected to an asset freeze. The designation decision can be appealed.
Egypt has designated the Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation.
Abul-Fotouh, a former member of the Brotherhood, has for years distanced himself from the group and his family said last week he broke away with the movement in 2009 before he was officially dismissed in 2011.
He was ordered remanded into custody for 15 days pending investigations into charges including "publishing and broadcasting false news harming national interests" and "leading an illegal group" that aims to topple the regime and disrupt public order.
Abul Fotouh was detained days after an interview with the Qatari-based new outlet Al-Jazeera Mubasher, which Egypt has banned, in which he criticized President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi for involving the military in politics and mishandling the economy.
The interior ministry claims he held “secret meetings” with leaders of the international Muslim Brotherhood organisation in London earlier this month to carry out a plot aimed at sparking off unrest and instability in the country.
Abul-Fotouh was among several Egyptian politicians who called last month for a boycott of the upcoming presidential elections, due for late March.