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Egypt's Morsi made mistakes but does not deserve coup: MB's lawyer


08:21, July 05, 2013

CAIRO, July 4 (Xinhua) -- Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) group made mistakes but that does not justify a military coup, the group's official lawyer, Adel-Moneim Abdel-Maqsood, told Xinhua in an exclusive interview on Thursday.

The lawyer said so one day after the ouster of Morsi by the military after the Islamist-oriented president failed to respond to millions of protesters who took to the streets to demand his removal and an early presidential election.

The lawyer said the mistakes made by Morsi and the MB were that "they unfortunately did not show enough cooperation with the youth and did not give enough space for the real political and national forces."

However, he argued that the presidency and the group offered initiatives for dialogue and reconciliation "but they were always declined by the opposition."

"That was simply a military coup against an elected president," Abdel-Maqsood said, describing the approval of the country's prestigious Islamic institution Al-Azhar, the Orthodox Church, the opposition bloc dubbed the National Salvation Front, the Islamist Salafist Al-Nour Party, and the youth anti-Morsi protesters as "a cover for the coup."

"Morsi is currently put under home arrest at the Republican Guards Club," the lawyer confirmed to Xinhua, denying reports about moving Morsi to the Defense Ministry headquarters.

When asked about a possible trial of Morsi, the MB lawyer said "Morsi's legal situation is that he is the president of Egypt, but under a military coup he could be accused of any fake charges."

Abdel-Maqsood said that if millions of protesters took to the streets against Morsi, he had also millions of supporters who " defended his legitimacy."

Right after the military announcement of ousting Morsi, the security forces closed a number of Islamic TV channels and detained their crew to prevent any possible hate speech or inciting violence from the side of Morsi's supporters.

"This justification is funny and illogical," Abdel-Maqsood rhetorically said. "If it was a real popular uprising, they would not fear the influence of a TV channel on the public will."

On Thursday, General-Prosecutor Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud, who has just come back to office after being dismissed by Morsi through a controversial decree last year, ordered a travel ban on the ousted president and other 35 MB figures over inciting violence, including Mohamed Saad al-Katatni, leader of the MB's Freedom and Justice Party, and Rashad al-Bayoumi, deputy general guide of the group, who both were transferred to Tora Prison that hosts ex- President Hosni Mubarak, state TV said.

"We focus now on the legal procedures about those MB members who have been recently arrested," Abdel-Maqsood said.

As for the future of the MB and the next actions of the group, the lawyer said that it is to be decided by the group leaders.

Some experts advise the group to give up and focus on integrating with the society and on its political future.

"The group still has strong presence in the street since it has been established 80 years ago," Abdel-Maqsood said, stressing that the corrupt, anti-Islamist media and the remnants of Mubarak's regime were to blame for Morsi's "illegitimate downfall."

On Thursday, Islamist forces urged in a joint statement all Morsi's supporters to rally on Friday across the country to express "rejection of the military coup."

The statement of the National Alliance for Supporting Legitimacy, comprising 40 political parties and movements including the MB, called on Morsi's advocates to stick to peacefulness during the coming protests.

But the call still raised fears of possible violent clashes between Morsi's opponents and proponents, as similar clashes in Morsi's hometown in Sharqiya have killed four and injured dozens on Thursday.

"The MB is a peaceful group and no one would drag it into violence," the lawyer said.

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