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Egypt sends ousted president to third criminal trial

By The Associated Press

This article was published December 21, 2013 at 12:15 p.m.

CAIRO — Egyptian prosecutors on Saturday referred the country's toppled president to a third criminal trial on charges of organizing prison breaks during the 2011 uprising, spreading chaos and abducting police officers in collaboration with foreign militants.

The new charges against Mohammed Morsi and 129 others pile on the legal onslaught facing the ousted Islamist president and his group, the Muslim Brotherhood, by leveling sweeping accusations, most of which carry the death penalty.

Egypt's military-backed interim government has sought to portray the Brotherhood as largely responsible for the violence and militant attacks that engulfed the country following the 2011 ouster of longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak. The violence has surged following the popularly-backed military coup that deposed Morsi in July.

The latest case against Egypt's first freely elected president is rooted in the 2011 escape of more than 20,000 inmates from prisons across the country — including Morsi. Investigative Judge Hassan Samir said other Brotherhood suspects in the case include the group's leader Mohammed Badie, his deputy Mahmoud Ezzat, who is still at large, former Parliament Speaker Saad el-Katatni and others.

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