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Court clears Brotherhood leader in insult case

May 14, 2014

CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian court on Wednesday acquitted the former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood of insulting the judiciary in comments he made to a newspaper.

Mahdi Akef, 85, was arrested as part of the government crackdown against the Islamist group following the July military ouster of President Mohammed Morsi, himself a member of the Brotherhood. Akef faces other trials on charges of inciting violence and will not be released following the acquittal.

The government has branded the Brotherhood a terrorist organization and accused it of inciting violence, a charge the group denies.

The case against Akef stems from an interview he gave to a Kuwaiti newspaper when Morsi was in office in which he called the judiciary “corrupt,” threatening to force hundreds of judges into retirement.

Meanwhile Wednesday, dozens of Morsi supporters rallied at a major intersection in Cairo which nine months earlier had a sprawling sit-in where tens of thousands of Morsi supporters camped in nearly 50 days before security forces violently dispersed it.

Protesters set an under-construction memorial there on fire. They chanted “down with the military rule” and raised the four-finger sign symbolizing the sit-in at the Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque, where hundreds were killed on Aug. 14.

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