Ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi is seen behind bars during his trial at a court in Cairo May 8, 2014. Image Credit: REUTERS

Cairo: Egypt on Wednesday condemned a call by a UN official for an independent probe into the death of deposed Islamist president Mohammad Mursi.

On Tuesday, Rubert Colville, the spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that Mursi’s death in custody the day before must be followed by a “prompt, impartial, through and transparent investigation” by an independent body.

An official at the Egyptian Foreign Ministry described the call as an “attempt to politicize a case of natural death”.

Mursi, 67, died of a heart attack on Monday inside a courtroom in Cairo where he was on a retrial in an espionage case. He was buried hours later after a forensic examination.

“This is a malicious attempt to question Egypt’s commitment to international norms,” Ahmad Hafez, a poskesman for the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, said in a statement, referring to Colville’s call. “It is even an attempt to jump to baseless conclusions,” he added.

Mursi, a senior official in the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, was a diabetic and suffered from hypertension.

The Islamist group claimed he died due to a lack of medical care in prison, an allegation that authorities have denied.

Mursi was Monday on a retrial along with 23 members of his now-banned Muslim Brotherhood group in a case related to spying with the Palestinian Islamist Hamas movement during the chaos that followed a 2011 uprising against his predecessor Hosni Mubarak.

In mid-2013, Mursi was deposed by the army following enormous street protests against his one-year rule.

He has since been tried in several cases including spying for his staunch backer Qatar and orchestrating a mass prison break during Egypt’s 2011 revolt.

Mursi was serving a total of 45 years in prison issued against him in two separate cases related to leaking secret state documents to Qatar and a deadly crackdown on anti-Islamist protesters when he was in power.