A senior figure in the Islamist Wasat Party, who is a former close ally of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, has been detained by prosecutors on charges of “insulting the judiciary.”
Judge Tharwat Hammad ordered on Saturday that Essam Sultan by detained pending investigations on the charges.
Hammad has been delegated by the justice minister to investigate reports against Sultan filed by judges and prosecutors which accuse him of “insulting the judiciary” in reference to his comments about the legal system in media interviews.
Tensions between Islamists and the judiciary soared in April after Islamist members of the upper house of parliament, Shura Council – now dissolved – proposed amendments to a law regulating the work of the judiciary. The proposed changes were opposed by a majority of Egyptian judges.
Sultan was detained earlier in July by the general prosecution for 15 days, along with Wasat Party head Aboul-Ela Madi, on charges of inciting violence and murder during clashes at the Republican Guard headquarters on 8 July in Cairo which left at least 50 pro-Morsi demonstrators dead.
Sultan was also given another 15 days’ detention on charges of inciting violence and murder during clashes outside the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters on 1 July.
Many senior Muslim Brotherhood figures were detained after Morsi’s 3 July ouster. Morsi has been in military custody since 3 July; he was formally detained last week on charges of inciting violence.