- The Washington Times - Monday, June 24, 2013

An Egyptian court ruled over the weekend that members of Hamas, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood did in fact team together and launch a prison break in 2011 of 34 leaders on the Brotherhood movement — including the country’s president-to-be, Mohammed Morsi.

The ruling is significant because it counters what Mr. Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood have always maintained — that local residents staged the prison break, The Times of Israel reported. Meanwhile, members of the Palestinian Hamas have always denied involvement.

Mr. Morsi has not spoken about his escape from Wadi el-Natroun prison — which occurred during an 18-day Islamic uprising to oust Hosni Mubarak from office — since the day of the break, when he contacted a television station to give a quick run-down of events, the Times reported.

An estimated 23,000 convicts were freed into the city streets, including 40 members of Hamas and the Lebanon-based Hezbollah. Egyptians are still suffering from the crime wave that ensued, the Times reported.

Judges implicated two members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which supports Mr. Morsi, in the conspiracy to free the inmates from Wadi el-Natroun, the Times reported. The court’s finding is likely to spark more opposition to Mr. Morsi’s conservative Islamist rule

Political opponents are in the midst of planning a protest for next week, aimed at pushing him from office, the Times reported.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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