Egyptian security forces arrested Egyptian politician Abdel-Moneim Abul Fotouh on Wednesday evening, after the High State Security Prosecution issued an arrest warrant for him.
A judicial source told Ahram Online that the head of the opposition Strong Egypt Party and former 2012 presidential candidate is facing charges of contacts with the banned Muslim Brotherhood, among other charges.
State news agency MENA reported that the prosecution ordered the arrest of Abul Fotouh, a former leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood Guidance Bureau, and several others after investigations by the National Security Agency showed they "have committed a number of crimes.”
The 66-year-old physician had been a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood since his university years in the 1970's and left the group in 2011 over organizational disagreements.
Abul Fotouh was arrested from his home in New Cairo hours after he returned from a visit to London, during which he gave an interview to the Qatari-based Al-Jazeera channel in which he reportedly criticised government policies.
Five members of the Strong Egypt Party's political bureau who were at Abul Fotouh's home at the time of his arrest were also arrested, but were subsequently released.
Abul Fotouh remains in police custody and is set to be questioned by prosecutors on Thursday.
In June 2012, following the 2011 uprising, Abul Fotouh ran an independent presidential bid in the first presidential elections after Mubarak's ouster, finishing fourth with 18 percent of the votes in the first round of the election, which was eventually won by the Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi in a run-off against Ahmed Shafiq.
Shortly after the 2012 presidential elections, Abul Fotouh established the Strong Egypt Party.
Egypt designated the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization shortly after the ouster of Islamist President Morsi in July 2013.