Ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi accused the military chief who deposed him of treason in a message from prison read by lawyers yesterday, saying the country cannot return to stability until the coup is reversed and those behind it are tried.
The statement was part of a bid by Morsi to rally his supporters since his emergence from the secret military detention where he had been held, with virtually no contact with the outside world, since his July 3 ouster.
Morsi was moved to a regular prison last week after the first session of his trial on charges of inciting murder.
There, he had his first extensive meeting with a team of lawyers from his Muslim Brotherhood and other allies on Tuesday, dictating the “message to the Egyptian people” to them.
However, he is emerging to a dramatically changed situation from four months ago. Since then, a fierce crackdown by security forces has crippled the Brotherhood, several thousand top leaders have been arrested and hundreds have been killed.
However, security officials worry the protests could flare stronger with the anticipated lifting of a three-month-old state of emergency and curfew, either later yesterday or today.
Morsi’s statement lay down a hard line, praising protesters for their “steadfastness” and vowing the coup would be reversed.
“The coup has begun to fall apart and will topple in the face of the steadfastness of the Egyptian people,” he said in the statement read by the lawyers at a press conference.
Morsi said Egyptian Minister of Defense General Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who heads the military, had violated his oath of loyalty and committed “treason against God” and “treason against the whole nation by driving a wedge among the people of Egypt.”
The ousted president also said Egypt will not see stability until “the military coup is eliminated and those responsible for shedding Egyptians’ blood are held accountable.”
In his trial, Morsi has so far refused to accept legal representation, insisting he remains the elected president and that the tribunal against him is illegitimate.
Brotherhood lawyer Mohammed el-Damati told the press conference the team of lawyers will start pursuing legal measures against the coup and those behind it.