CAIRO - After more than three weeks of unjustified detention, a top Egyptian court has ordered the detention of deposed president Mohamed Morsi for questioning over suspected collaboration with Palestinian Hamas, a move seen as a return of Mubarak regime.
"Hamas condemns this move since it is based on the premise that the Hamas movement is hostile," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told Agence France Presse (AFP) on Friday, July 26.
"This is a dangerous development, which confirms that the current powers in Egypt are giving up on national causes and even using these issues to deal with other parties -- first among them the Palestinian cause."
"We call on the Arab League to uphold its responsibilities in the wake of these dangerous developments, and also call on the Arab people to express their position in the face of this dangerous incitement against the Palestinian resistance and people," Abu Zuhri added.
The court ruling, issued unexpectedly on a weekend, said Morsi would be investigated for carrying out "hostile acts" against Egypt during the popular uprising in early 2011
The 2011 revolution led to the downfall of President Hosni Mubarak.
The allegations included conspiring with the Palestinian group Hamas "to carry out anti-state acts, attacking police stations, army officers and storming prisons, setting fire to one prison and enabling inmates to flee, including himself, as well as premeditated killing of officers, soldiers, and prisoners," according to MENA.
Morsi would face further interrogation under the court order as part of a larger probe by the court, to determine how dozens of Muslim Brotherhood leaders broke out of jail in January 2011.
The Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson Gehad El-Haddad called the court's conduct a signal of the return of Mubarak's regime.
"The accusations read as if they're retaliation from the old regime, signaling 'We're back in full force,'" he told AFP.
The court order, the first indication of Morsi's whereabouts in over 20 days, followed calls by UN leader Ban Ki-moon to free overthrown president Morsi.
Ban demanded that Morsi and his high-level backers "be released or have their cases reviewed transparently without delay," said deputy UN spokesman Eduardo del Buey, AFP reported.
The military has been holding Morsi, without charge, at an undisclosed location since removing him from power on July 3.
His disappearance from the public has contributed to heightened tensions between his opponent and supporters. Morsi's followers are demanding his reinstatement as a democratically elected official.
Earlier this week, Morsi's family threatened to take international legal action against Egyptian officials for "kidnapping" their father.
The court order comes as pro-Morsi protesters announced a mass rally on Friday asking to reinstate Morsi.
Similar calls were made by military chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who deposed Egypt's first freely elected President Morsi on July 3 and replaced his government with an interim administration, for mass rallies on Friday in Tahrir square.
With tensions again rising in Egypt ahead of rival rallies, the spokesman said Ban "is following closely, and with growing concern, developments in Egypt.
"The secretary general once again urges all sides to act with maximum restraint. He supports the rights of all Egyptians to hold peaceful protests.
"He calls on the interim authorities to ensure law and order along with guaranteeing the safety and security of all Egyptians."
Ban "renews his calls for a meaningful national dialogue and an inclusive reconciliation process. The aim must be to chart a peaceful path towards a full return of civilian control, constitutional order, and democratic governance," said del Buey.