Egypt crisis: Two more prominent Muslim Brotherhood figures arrested as court meets to consider Mubarak release

Officers capture top ally of the Brotherhood as he 'tried to flee to Libya disguised as a woman'

Two more prominent Islamist figures have been arrested as a Cairo court met to discuss the release of former president Hosni Mubarak.

Officers held preacher Safwat Hegazy as he reportedly tried to flee to neighbouring Libya disguised as a woman, and Mourad Ali, a spokesman for the Islamist group. Hegazy is believed to be a close ally of the Brotherhood, according to state media.

News of the arrests came as a court convened in Cairo today to consider a petition for the release of Mubarak, who was ousted after a 30-year reign.

Mr Mubarak is appealing against his detention over charges of corruption. He will be re-tried on charges of complicity of the murders of protesters killed in the uprising that deposed him in 2011.

The 85-year-old is currently being held in the Tora Prison in south Cairo.

The arrests form part of a crackdown currently underway, led by Egypt's interim government against the Brotherhood the military ousted former leader President Mohamed Morsi. 

A state of emergency is in force across the region after almost 900 people, including more than 100 police and soldiers reportedly killed since Wednesday when the military forcibly cleared by security forces last week, triggering violence that killed hundreds of people.

A bloody attack followed that saw 25 policemen executed during an ambush by suspected militants in the Sinai Peninsula.

Hundreds of Brotherhood members are already detained in custody, including the Brotherhood's former politicians and field operatives, whilst Mr Morsi and his senior aides have been held at an unknown location, incommunicado since the 3 July military coup.

Mr Badie was arrested in an apartment in the Cairo district of Nasr City, close to the site of the pro-Morsi protests.

Badie and his influential deputy Khairat el-Shater, who is also in custody, will go on trial later this month for their alleged role in the killing of eight protesters outside the Brotherhood's Cairo headquarters in June.

The removal of Mr Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected president, came after four days of mass protests in Cairo and elsewhere demanding he step down for abusing power.

MENA said Mr Hegazy, who joined ranks with the Muslim Brotherhood in campaigning for Mr Morsi's presidential bid, showed no resistance during his arrest and was flown to a detention centre in Cairo.

He was a key speaker at the main pro-Morsi sit-in that was dispersed by security troops last Wednesday in Cairo's Nasr City suburb. He told protesters to hold their ground and promised to deal blows to the military.

He is wanted on charges of instigating deadly clashes last month with security forces outside a Republican Guard building that killed 54 people, most of them Morsi supporters.

The Brotherhood arrests are aimed at crippling the group and weakening its ability to continue street protests.

Over the past three days, the group's near-daily protests since Mr Morsi's removal have diminished, with scattered demonstrations in Cairo and elsewhere attracting only hundreds, or even dozens, of protesters.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Analyst - 12 Month FTC - Entry Level

£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Chefs - All Levels

£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...

Recruitment Genius: Maintenance Engineer

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive & Customer Service - Call Centre Jobs!

£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy