Last updated: 23 August, 2014

Deposed Egypt president’s spokesman faces trial

The former spokesman for Egypt’s deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi faces trial for allegedly helping an ex-premier try to flee to Sudan, a judicial source said on Saturday.

Yasser Ali, who was arrested in Cairo in December, is accused of aiding a “convicted man sought by the judicial authorities”, a reference to Islamist former prime minister Hisham Qandil.

Qandil was detained, also last December, for trying to leave the country illegally for Sudan.

Another 12 people are being sought in connection with the same case.

Qandil, premier under Morsi, had a one-year jail sentence overturned on appeal in July.

Ali is also being charged with membership of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, proscribed since December as a “terrorist” organisation accused of carrying out attacks on the security forces.

The Brotherhood denies such accusations, saying its activities are non-violent.

The judicial source said no date has yet been fixed for Ali’s trial.

Since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, now president and then military chief, ousted Morsi in July 2013, the authorities have cracked down hard on the Brotherhood, with an estimated 1,400 backers of the ousted Islamist killed.

Thousands more have been detained and imprisoned.

Hundreds of people have also been sentenced to death in speedy mass trials that have sparked an international outcry.