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Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Now Plans Big Political Role

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Now Plans Big Political Role

CAIRO (AP) — The once outlawed Muslim Brotherhood says it will contest half of the seats in Egypt's parliamentary elections in September, revealing plans to become a major force in the country's post-revolution politics.

The elections will be the first since the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak by a popular uprising in February.

The Brotherhood remained Egypt's best organized opposition group despite a campaign by Mubarak's regime to suppress it. It successfully fielded candidates in previous parliamentary elections as independents.

At a news conference Saturday, the Brotherhood named the leaders of its new Freedom and Justice party.

The party will test to what extent the Brotherhood is willing to moderate its rigid religious discourse to try to win broader political support.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's ousted President Hosni Mubarak would face the death penalty if convicted of ordering the shooting of protesters during the uprisings that brought him down, the country's new justice minister said Saturday.

Mohammed el-Guindi told the daily Al-Ahram Saturday that Mubarak, his two sons and wife are also facing allegations of corruption, which he said the former president had made the chief "discourse" of his government.

Mubarak, 82, stepped down Feb. 11 after 18 days of sustained protests. He was later placed under arrest after being hospitalized in the resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh for heart problems. At least 846 protesters were killed during the uprising.

"Certainly, if convicted for the crime of killing protesters, it could result in the death sentence," said el-Guindi.

He added that the key to the case was whether former Interior Minister Habib el-Adly, also under investigation, would testify that Mubarak had given the order to open fire on the protesters.

"The only one capable of pardoning Mubarak ... would be the new president," said el-Guindi. "If I were the president, I will not pardon him for killing 800 martyrs."

Egypt will hold new presidential elections in November.

The minister also blamed Mubarak for engendering a culture of corruption in the government and he said the former president's wealth came from gas exports to Israel, through a company owned by a personal friend, and arms deals.

Suzanne Mubarak, the former first lady, will also be investigated, the minister added, with the first questioning to take place in the next few days at the Sharm el-Sheikh Hospital where the former president is convalescing.

Mubarak's wife, who was involved in a number of high profile charitable ventures, is suspected of illegally amassing wealth through her non-governmental organizations.

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