Khairat El-Shater (Photo: Reuters)
Egyptian prosecutors on Monday charged leading Muslim Brotherhood figure Khairat El-Shater and Islamist preacher Safwat Hegazi with inciting violence against protesters in July.
El-Shater, the group’s second-in-command, was arrested with his brother two days after the 3 July ouster of president Mohamed Morsi, who hails from the Brotherhood.
El-Shater and Hegazi, who was arrested last week, are accused of inciting violence against anti-Morsi protesters in Giza on 3 July, the night of Morsi’s ouster.
At least 16 died during the clashes near Cairo University, close to Al-Nahda Square where a pro-Morsi sit-in was being staged.
Prosecutors also extended both men’s legal detention period by 15 days pending investigation into the Monday charges.
El-Shater is also facing charges of inciting violence at different set of violent clashes between Morsi's opponents and supporters in late June.
Six Brotherhood members including El-Shater and Mohamed Badie, the group’s spiritual leader, are accused of inciting deadly violence at clashes outside the group’s headquarters in the Cairo district of Mokattam on 30 June.
The first court session was held on Sunday, although the defendants were absent for security reasons.
Egypt's security forces have been cracking down on the Islamist group and its allies in recent weeks, carrying out mass arrests of the group’s leaders and members countrywide.
The country's interim government accuses Brotherhood leaders of committing "acts of terror" against their opponents.