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July 5, 2013

Egypt: Interim president is sworn in

(Continued)

Authorities have also issued a wanted list for more than 200 Brotherhood members and leaders of other Islamist groups. Among them is Khairat el-Shater, another deputy of the general guide who is widely considered the most powerful figure in the Brotherhood.

The arrest of Badie was a dramatic step, since even Mubarak and his predecessors had been reluctant to move against the group’s top leader. The ranks of Brotherhood members across the country swear a strict oath of unquestioning allegiance to the general guide, vowing to “hear and obey.” It has been decades since any Brotherhood general guide was put in a prison.

Badie and el-Shater were widely believed by the opposition to be the real power in Egypt during Morsi’s tenure. Badie was arrested late Wednesday from a villa where he had been staying in the Mediterranean coastal city of Marsa Matrouh and flown by helicopter to Cairo, security officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk the press.

Mahmoud, the top prosector, said he was opening investigations into the killings of protesters during Morsi’s rule. He ordered el-Katatni and Bayoumi questioned on allegations of instigating violence and killings, and put travel bans on 36 others, a sign they too could face prosecution.

In the first step toward setting up a post-Morsi leadership, the chief judge of the Supreme Constitutional Court Adly Mansour took the oath as interim president before his fellow judges at the constitutional court.

The 67-year-old jurist, a Mubarak appointee like nearly every judge in the judiciary, had been the deputy head of the court for over 20 years. He was elevated to the chief justice position only three days ago, when his predecessor reached mandatory retirement age. He was among the judges who ruled against a political isolation law in 2012 that would have barred many Mubarak-era officials from politics — and as a result, Mubarak’s last prime minister Ahmed Shafiq was able to run against Morsi.

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