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Mursi accused of ‘conspiring’ with Hamas

Former president has previously said locals helped him escape from prison

Gulf News

Egyptian prosecutors have accused ousted President Mohammad Mursi of conspiring with the Palestinian militant group Hamas and murder in his 2011 escape from prison that left 14 guards dead.

The probe centres on charges that he conspired with Hamas to flee jail during the uprising against veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak, killing some prisoners and officers, kidnapping soldiers and torching buildings.

Mursi has previously said locals helped him escape from prison during the 2011 upheaval and the Muslim Brotherhood denounced the series of accusations levelled against him.

His only account of his jailbreak came in a frantic phone call he made to Al Jazeera Mubasher TV moments after being freed. “From the noises we heard... It seemed to us there were [prisoners] attempting to get out of their cells and break out into the prison yard, and the prison authorities were trying to regain control and fired tear gas,” Mursi said in the call.

By the time they got out, the prison was empty, and there was no sign of a major battle, he said.

Other Brotherhood leaders gave similar accounts of the jailbreak, in which at least 14 members of the security forces were killed and the jail’s documents and archives destroyed.

Mursi and other Brotherhood leaders were rounded up by the authorities during the 2011 revolt that swept Mubarak from power. Many managed to escape in the ensuing confusion, alongside militants from Hamas, a Palestinian offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood that governs in the neighbouring Gaza Strip.

— With inputs from AP and Reuters