Judges during the Wadi El-Natroun court session on 23 June 2013 (Photo: Al-Ahram)
The escape from prison by Muslim Brotherhood leaders – including Mohamed Morsi – during the January 25 Revolution has been referred to state prosecutors by a court in Ismailia.
Essam El-Erian, Sobhi Saleh and Saad El-Katatni were among senior Brotherhood leaders to escape alongside Morsi, who later became Egyptian president, after unknown assailants stormed Wadi El-Natroun prison during the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak in early 2011.
The court called on Interpol to arrest the leaders of Lebanese Shia group Hezbollah, Palestinian group Hamas and Al-Qaeda in Sinai for their alleged role in planning and executing the escape.
Thirty-four senior Brotherhood members – including Saad El-Katatni, the leader of its political wing the Freedom and Justice Party – will also be investigated for espionage.
Eleven thousand prisoners escaped and 13 died during the prison break.
At a press conference in Ismailiya shortly after the court hearing, the FJP said the case was an attempt to "derail the revolution and serve the counter-revolution."
The party will appeal the court ruling which it described as "absurd" and "highly politicised."
Mokhtar El-Ashry, the FJP's legal commission head, claimed the case was outside the court's jurisdiction.
Gamal Gebril, an MP and member of the presidential legal committee, said the president would not be investigated by state prosecutors, Turkish news agency Anadolu reported.
The constitution says trials or investigations involving the president must be held by a special court, under special rules and require the prior consent of parliament, Gebril added.