- Mystery sign poster hits Washington state town: ‘It’s OK to say Merry Christmas’
- Pope Francis forms commission to advise on sex abuse
- Anthony Weiner on radio? Cumulus says, ‘Never, ever’
- Executive order: Obama ups green-energy mandate on feds to 20 percent
- GOP launches candidate training: How to talk to women
- N.Y.’s Rockefeller Center lights up, as Bloomberg flicks on 76-foot Christmas tree
- Northern Ireland turns to ‘Game of Thrones’ to draw in tourists
- Washington woman live-tweets husband’s horrific car death
- China City of America mulled for New York — with $65M tax dollars
- Yemen defense ministry rocked by suicide bomber, gunfire
Egypt’s opposition leaders under investigation
Accused of committing treason; probe decried as return to Mubarak era
The probe by a Morsi-appointed prosecutor was launched a day after the president called for a dialogue with the opposition to heal rifts opened in the bitter fight over an Islamist-drafted constitution just approved in a referendum.
The opposition decried the investigation as a throwback to Hosni Mubarak’s regime, when the law was used to smear and silence opponents.
The probe is almost certain to sour the already tense political atmosphere in the country.
The allegations initially were made in a complaint by at least two lawyers sent to the chief prosecutor earlier this month. They targeted opposition leaders Mohamed ElBaradei, a Nobel Peace laureate and former head of the U.N. nuclear agency; former Foreign Minister Amr Moussa; and Hamdeen Sabahi.
There was no immediate comment by any of the three opposition leaders named, but the opposition dismissed the allegations.
Emad Abu Ghazi, secretary-general of the opposition party Mr. ElBaradei heads, said the investigation is “an indication of a tendency toward a police state and the attempt to eliminate political opponents.” He said the ousted Mubarak regime dealt with the opposition in the same way.
Mubarak jailed his opponents, including liberals and Islamists. International rights groups said their trials did not meet basic standards of fairness.
The investigation does not necessarily mean charges will be filed against the leaders. But it is unusual for state prosecutors to investigate such broad charges against high-profile figures.
Mr. Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president, asked the opposition Wednesday to join a national dialogue to heal rifts and move on after a month of huge street protests against him and the constitution drafted by his allies.
Some of the protests erupted into deadly violence. On Dec. 5, anti-Morsi demonstrators staging a sit-in outside the presidential palace in Cairo were attacked by Morsi supporters. Fierce clashes ensued that left 10 people dead.
The wave of protests began after Mr. Morsi’s Nov. 22 decrees that gave him and the assembly writing the constitution immunity from judicial oversight. That allowed his Islamist allies on the assembly to hurriedly rush through the charter before an expected court ruling dissolving the panel.
After the decrees, the opposition accused Mr. Morsi of amassing too much power in his hands. They said the constitution was drafted without the participation of liberal, minority Christian and women members of the assembly, who walked out in protest at the last minute.
Even though the constitution passed in a referendum, the opposition has vowed to keep fighting it. They say it enshrines Islamic law in Egypt, undermines rights of minorities and women, and restricts freedoms.
Mr. Morsi and Brotherhood officials accused the opposition of working to undermine the president’s legitimacy, and accused former regime officials of working to topple him.
Although he reached out to the opposition for reconciliation, Mr. Morsi did not offer any concessions in his speech Wednesday calling for a dialogue.
- CURL: 'Mission Accomplished' for Obamacare
- American teacher shot and killed at Benghazi international school
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality
- NAPOLITANO: Liberty, the wellspring of capitalism and charity
- Pentagon may give recruits 'a shot to start over' after shameful social media posts
- Democratic infighting erupts over 'we can have it all' fantasy on entitlements
- Obama returns to class warfare as poll numbers plunge
- Young millennials shun Obamacare, creating risky imbalance
- Hack attack: 2 million Facebook, Twitter passwords stolen
- HARPER: 'Knockout game' not a myth to liberal Sharpton
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
The Constitution: Every issue, every time. No exceptions, no excuses. And how to get from here to there.
A libertarian look at breaking news and political trends by author Tom Mullen.
A stat-head’s outlook, direct from his worn in couch cushion.
Playing Through covers the world of PGA golf, as well as tips your the average golfer to play better.