Cairo Criminal Court has upheld an order to detain a group of Muslim Brotherhood leaders 15 days pending investigations, refusing an appeal lodged by the defendants.
In its session Wednesday, the court rejected an appeal in the case of Saad Khairat El-Shater, the son of the deputy supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Ahmed Aref, the group's spokesman, and another 18 defendants on charges of funding and inciting violence.
Defendants also include Ahmed Abou Baraka and Salah Sultan, two prominent figures of the now banned group.
Saad El-Shater was first arrested on 28 August in an apartment in eastern Cairo Nasr City district and referred to the national security prosecution on charges including spreading false news about the internal situation of the country and disturbing national peace and security.
Since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi 3 July, interim authorities have cracked down on Islamists, mainly the Muslim Brotherhood, detaining hundreds of the group's leaders including Khairat El-Shater. Charges against the Islamists mostly include inciting violence and murder and joining an outlawed group.
Morsi himself is facing trial for inciting supporters to kill his opponents in violent clashes in front of the presidential palace during his one-year rule. The first session of his trial took place 4 November amid high security. Morsi was later transferred to Borg Al-Arab Prison on the outskirts of Alexandria in the north of the country. A second trial session is planned for January.
The Muslim Brotherhood existed outside of Egyptian law for decades and was only officially registered as an NGO in March 2013, to be later banned by a court ruling in September. The verdict also ordered the interim government to seize the group's funds and establish a panel to administer its frozen assets until appeals are heard.
A ruling on the dissolution of the Freedom and Justice Party, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, is expected February.