Muslim Brotherhood leader Essam el-Erian has been arrested by the Egyptian authorities . government had launched a crackdown against the group following the military ouster of president Mohamed Morsi.
Security forces arrested Essam el-Erian, the deputy leader of the Brotherhood’s political wing, at his residence in New Cairo. He had been in hiding and was one of the few top Brotherhood officials who remained free.
Hundreds of Brotherhood leaders, including Morsi, have been arrested since July and charged with inciting violence. The deposed leader’s supporters have carried out mass protests demanding he be reinstated. Some of the demonstrations have turned violent.
More than 1,000 people, mostly Islamists, have been killed in the clashes.
On Tuesday, three judges presiding over the trial of 35 Brotherhood members stepped down, saying they felt “uneasy” about the proceedings but giving no specific details.
However, judicial officials said the judges withdrew because the Interior Ministry would not allow the defendants to sit in the courtroom.
The development means a new set of judges will be assigned and that the trial will have to start over.
The defendants, including Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie, are accused of inciting violence that led to the deaths of nine protesters outside Brotherhood headquarters last December.
Morsi is accused of inciting violence that cased the deaths of other protesters in June. His trial is set to begin November 4.