Egyptian Officials Accused of 'Zionist Plot'

Three former Egyptian presidential candidates have been accused of espionage and conspiring a “Zionist plot” against the state.

Rachel Hirshfeld ,

Egyptian protesters
Egyptian protesters

Three former Egyptian presidential candidates have been accused of espionage and conspiring a "Zionist plot" against the state, according to a complaint referred by Egypt’s public prosecutor on Tuesday.

Mohammed ElBaradei, Hamdein Sabahy and Amr Moussa are being reprimanded for allegedly being embroiled in a "Zionist plot" to overthrow the Islamist-led government of Mohammed Mursi, Egypt's al-Masry al-Youm newspaper reported, according to Al-Arabiya.

Earlier this week, founder of the Constitution Party ElBaradei, head of the Conference Party Moussa and founder of the Popular Current Party Sabahy all declared their support and participation in the ongoing sit-in in Cairo’s Tahrir Square until Morsi’s constitutional decree is revoked.

Citing the report, Al-Arabiya reported that the complaint against the former presidential candidates, as well as Wafd party leader Sayed Badawi was filed by attorney Hamed Sadek, claiming the opposition leaders had “secretly met Israel's former foreign minister Tzipi Livni to drum up domestic turmoil and bring the country to its knees.”

In continuingֿ upheaval over Morsi’s decree, thousands of Egyptian demonstrators encircled the presidential palace on Tuesday, after riot police failed to keep them at bay with tear gas.

“The final warning, the presidency under siege,” read the headline of Egyptian al-Shuruk daily newspaper.

Tuesday’s protests are the latest in a wave of growing upheaval over Morsi’s Nov. 22 decree, which expanded his powers, enabling the Egyptian president him to call a mid-December referendum on a draft constitution drawn up by an Islamist-dominated panel and rejected by liberals, leftists and Christians.

"The president can issue any decision or measure to protect the revolution," according to the decree.  "The constitutional declarations, decisions and laws issued by the president are final and not subject to appeal," it added.