Pro-Brotherhood cleric Qaradawi referred to Egypt's military prosecution

Ahram Online , Saturday 5 Sep 2015

Sheikh Youssef Al-Qaradawi (Photo: Al Ahram)

Egypt's prosecutor-general referred on Saturday 35 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to the military prosecution service, including prominent Islamist preacher Youssef El-Qaradawi, on charges of murdering a police officer.

"The investigations revealed that the leaders of the international organisation of the Muslim Brotherhood, in coordination with some radical left-wing and religious movements, were involved in the murder of police officer Wael Tahoon, and in attacking public and private facilities," read a statement issued by the prosecution general.

The prosecution added that 24 out of 35 defendants were in custody and had confessed their guilt. El-Qaradawi, a spiritual leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, is based in Qatar and was not apprehended.

In December 2014 Interpol issued an arrest warrant for El-Qaradawi, who is the chief of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, on the grounds that he is wanted by Egypt's authorities for inciting murder.

Under a law issued by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi in 2014, crimes committed against the state's public and "vital" facilities are referred to the military judiciary.

The law, criticised by human rights organisations for expanding the jurisdiction of military tribunals on civilians, was passed shortly after the death of at least 33 security personnel in militant attacks in Sinai on 24 October.

Article 204 of Egypt’s new constitution already allows authorities to refer civilians to military trials.

Earlier this week, 439 defendants were referred to the military judiciary over violence which followed the deadly dispersal of two camps supporting Egypt's ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, who hails from the Brotherhood, in August 2013.

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