Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood denounced the Egyptian authorities on Thursday for charging former President Mohammed Morsi, the group's Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie and other Brotherhood leaders with espionage and aiding acts of terrorism.
The Muslim Brotherhood described the charges against its leaders as risible.
The group called for the international community to pressure Egypt to release Morsi after he, Badie and 34 other Brotherhood members were referred to the Cairo Criminal Court on Wednesday, facing various charges including sharing state secrets with Iran, as well as spying on Egypt for the Palestinian group Hamas and the Lebanese party Hezbollah.
The bizarre and contradictory charges allege that the Muslim Brotherhood collaborated with Sunni jihadists trained by Iran's Shiite government to plunge Egypt into chaos during the 2011 uprising to help facilitate the group seizing and holding onto power. The charges also accuse the group of "opening channels of communication with the West via Turkey and Qatar".
If convicted, they could all face the death penalty as the maximum sentence.
The office of the Prosecutor General claimed in a statement that this case is "the biggest conspiracy in the nation's history".
In a press release issued on Thursday, the Muslim Brotherhood described the charges as "a new episode in the military coup's crimes against the Egyptian people."
"The coup's judges continue to fabricate risible charges against the democratically-elected president and a number of Muslim Brotherhood leaders," the statement added.