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Islamist to be tried for insulting judges in Egypt

| Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, 6:39 p.m.

CAIRO — A former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood was charged for insulting the judiciary on Saturday, Egyptian officials said, the latest move by prosecutors to bring to trial leading members of the former president's group.

Speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief journalists, they said 85-year-old Mahdi Akef was referred to a criminal court in Cairo, but no date had been set for his trial.

Akef's arrest occurred as part of the interim government's wider crackdown on Islamist leaders and Brotherhood supporters following the July 3 ouster of President Mohamed Morsy. Akef, along with other top leaders of the Brotherhood, is accused of inciting violence in a court case that will resume later this month.

About 2,000 members of the Brotherhood and Islamist groups are being held in prison pending investigation on a variety of accusations, mostly involving inciting violence.

Meanwhile, interim authorities moved ahead with their plans for their post-Morsy political transition plan, calling on Egyptian voters living abroad to start registering in preparation for an expected referendum on constitutional amendments, parliamentary and presidential elections.

Egypt's state news agency MENA said Egyptians living abroad, estimated at about 8 million, can begin registration starting on Saturday.

The timetable announced by the interim president did not specify dates for the elections, but it is estimated that the votes will be done by spring of 2014.

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