Chief editor of Egypt's oldest state-run daily was interrogated by the country's prosecutor-general over publishing false news regarding the detention of Egypt's toppled president Mohamed Morsi, judicial sources told Ahram Online.
Al-Ahram reported in its Monday first edition (typically released early evening on the previous day) that the prosecutor-general had ordered the former president’s arrest, detaining him for 15 days pending investigation.
The story was published under the name of Al-Ahram arabic Daily chief editor Abdel Nasser Salama.
Hours after the story’s release, the Egyptian army countered the news, calling it unfounded and intended to "inflame public opinion and serve particular political factions," according to military spokesman Ahmed Ali.
The paper claimed Morsi’s arrest had been ordered on charges of espionage and inciting violence based on recorded phone calls made by Morsi to the US, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Hamas during the hours leading up to his overthrow by Egypt’s army.
Former President Morsi has been held incommunicado at an undisclosed location since his ouster on 3 July in a measure the army said was aimed to protect him.
The former president, however, has not yet been charged with any crime.Washington, the EU, and Germany have called for his release.
Several members of the Muslim Brotherhood – the party from which Morsi hails – are facing charges of inciting violence, with some in detention and others still on the run.