CAIRO – Egypt’s top prosecutor on Sunday referred ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi to trial on charges of inciting the killing of opponents protesting outside his palace while he was in office, the state news agency said.
The military ousted Morsi on July 3 after millions took to the street demanding he step down. He’s been held incommunicado since. Despite other accusations by prosecutors, Sunday’s decision is his first referral to trial. No date was announced for the trial.
Morsi will be tried, along with 14 members of his Muslim Brotherhood, in a criminal court for allegedly committing acts of violence, and inciting the killing of at least 10 people.
The case dates back to one of the deadliest bouts of violence during Morsi’s one year in office. At least 100,000 protesters gathered outside his presidential palace on Dec. 4, protesting a decree he issued to protect his decisions from judicial oversight and a highly disputed draft constitution that was adopted in the Islamist-dominated parliament.
The next day, Islamist groups and supporters of Morsi attacked protesters who camped out there, sparking street battles that left at least 10 dead.
Violence erupts at Iranian camp in Iraq
Deadly violence erupted at a contentious Iranian exile camp inside Iraq early Sunday, leaving international observers scrambling to determine the cause of the bloodshed and the number of casualties.
The dissidents alleged that more than 50 were killed and accused the Iraqi government. Baghdad said an internal dispute was to blame. And the United Nations mission to Iraq, which has been closely involved in trying to find a viable long-term solution for the dissidents, acknowledges it does not have a clear picture what happened.
“The only thing we can confirm is there are a lot of casualties,” said Eliana Nabaa, the spokeswoman for the U.N. mission to Iraq. “How, why, when? It’s difficult to assess.”
Jordan limits duties of military court
Jordan said Sunday it will sharply diminish the duties of its powerful military court in line with promised state reforms to allow for wider freedom of expression.
Spearheading the reforms, Jordan’s King Abdullah II has called for amending a law governing the tasks of the no-jury tribunal, officially known as the State Security Court. Reformists criticize the court as a government tool to muzzle them.
Information Minister Mohammad Momani said the amended draft law, which will be debated in the elected parliament, was unanimously endorsed by Cabinet Sunday. He said out of 17 crimes previously under its jurisdiction, the military court would now have authority over only matters related to terrorism, espionage, treason, illegal drugs and currency counterfeiting.
German candidates debate debt crisis
Chancellor Angela Merkel and her center-left rival sparred over Europe’s debt crisis and how best to keep Germany’s economy strong as they faced off Sunday in a televised debate ahead of Sept. 22 elections.
Challenger Peer Steinbrueck went into the 90-minute debate – the pair’s only direct TV encounter of the campaign – facing a daunting poll deficit and needing a strong performance after a summer in which the opposition has struggled to land blows on the popular conservative incumbent.
Neither contender scored a knockout blow or made a major mistake, and polls conducted by broadcasters showed no clear winner. In his opening statement, Steinbrueck portrayed Germany as having “gone round in circles, without direction” under Merkel’s center-right coalition over the past four years.
Merkel touted her record as the debate opened, pointing to high employment and portraying Germany as “the motor of growth” and “the anchor of stability” in Europe.
Greece denies sales set by foreign firm
Greece’s prime minister and finance minister have both insisted any sale of state assets will be handled by the agency set up for this purpose and not by any firm based abroad and run by foreign management.
Premier Antonis Samaras and Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras were responding to rumors that Greece’s creditors, unimpressed by the pace of privatizations, are pushing for a foreign-based special purpose vehicle to handle the selloffs. Stournaras told the newspaper Ethnos that he “categorically denied” that Greece’s Asset Development Fund would be moved abroad.
The fund’s two last chairmen have resigned in the past six months.