Egypt crisis: Revealed - the defiant final days of Persident Morsi

'Over my dead body!' Dramatic accounts from army, security and Muslim Brotherhood officials

The final moments of Mohammed Morsi's one-year Presidency before he was ousted by his Egyptian military have been dramatically recounted by army, security and Muslim Brotherhood officials.

Speaking anonymously to the Associated Press, allies of the President said they had foreseen the end of Morsi's leadership up to a week before the opposition planned its first major protests and painted a bleak picture of the Brotherhoods decline.

In recent months, the former President had reportedly been at loggerheads with a series of the country's most powerful institutions, including religious clerics, the police and intelligence agencies.

The effect was isolating, officials said. According to some, there was such pervasive distrust between the political leadership and the civil service that the latter began withholding information from Morsi.

The police also refused to protect Muslim Brotherhood offices when they came under attack in the latest wave of protests.

Refusing to acknowledge the broad challenges to his leadership, Morsi relied on his electoral legitimacy, repeatedly returning to the mandate he won in June 2012, according to one of the officials. As a result, he said, the government failed to address the concerns of protestors - tenuous security, rising prices, unemployment, power cuts and traffic congestion.

A Brotherhood spokesman, Murad Ali, said the military had already decided Morsi had to go.

"We were naïve," he said. "We didn't imagine betrayal would go this far. It was like, 'Either we put you in jail, or you come out and announce you are resigning. He didn't do either because he didn't want to hand the country to the military again."

But according to one official, Morsi delivered the final, terse response to el-Sissi's demand: "Over my dead body!"

On Monday, the armed forces announced they had given Morsi 48 hours to meet the protesters' demands or face military intervention. In reality, however, the countdown had begun as early as June 23, when el-Sissi gave Morsi and the opposition a week to work out their differences - a remote possibility given the wide gap between both sides.

"We knew it was over on June 23. Western ambassadors told us that," said one Brotherhood spokesman.

Morsi searched for allies in the army, ordering two top aides - Asaad el-Sheikh and Rifaah el-Tahtawy - to establish contact with potentially sympathetic officers based in Port Said and the Suez Canal, said security officials.

There were no signs that Morsi's overtures had any effect, but the army issued directives to all unit commanders not to engage in any contacts with the presidential palace and, as a precaution, dispatched elite troops to units whose commanders had been contacted by Morsi's aides.

The commander of the 2nd Field Army, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Wasfy, denied that there were any divisions within the military. "We are united. The culture and principles of the armed forces don't allow divisions," he said.

On the surface, Morsi wanted to give the impression that the government was conducting business as usual by holding a string of meetings with Cabinet ministers. But the opposition protests calling for his removal, which were planned for 30 June, began early and the then President had to stop working at Ittihadiya palace on 26 June.

The next day, he and his family moved into the Cairo headquarters of the Republican Guards, an army branch that protects the president, his family and his palaces and residences. Morsi worked at the Qasr El Qouba palace and continued to do so until June 30, when the Republican Guards advised him to stay put at their headquarters.

According to Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram, Morsi was offered safe passage to Turkey, Libya or elsewhere, but declined. He also was offered immunity from prosecution if he voluntarily stepped down, but he again said no, the newspaper added.

Morsi gave a speech late Tuesday night in which he vowed to stay in power and urged supporters to fight to protect his legitimacy. Soon after he finished, el-Sissi placed him under "confinement" in the Republican Guards headquarters. Some of his close aides, including el-Haddad, stayed with him.

Troops began deploying across major cities at 5 a.m. Wednesday, ahead of the expiration of the two-day ultimatum given by the army. On the army's official Facebook page, videos of the deployment were posted to reassure Egyptians. At noon, hours before el-Sissi announced the coup, the President's official protectors walked away from Morsi and his aides.

Army commandos soon arrived. There was no commotion, and Morsi went quietly, taken to an undisclosed Defense Ministry facility, officials said.

Additional reporting by AP

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Saunders stars as Miss Windsor, Dennis's hysterical French teacher
filmJennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Voices
Jimmy Mubenga died after being restrained on an aircraft by G4S escorts
voicesJonathan Cox: Tragedy of Jimmy Mubenga highlights lack of dignity shown to migrants
Life and Style
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Klarna, which provides a simple way for people to buy things online
tech
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

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...

Ashdown Group: Java Developer - Hertfordshire - £47,000 + bonus + benefits

£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...

Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Director - London - £70,000

£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive - Nationwide - OTE £65,000

£30000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small technology business ...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum