Morsy endorses law granting army judicial arrest power

Before leaving for Germany Wednesday, President Mohamed Morsy approved a law granting army officers judicial arrest power, after it was approved by the Shura Council, presidential sources told the Turkish news agency Anadolu.

The Cabinet had proposed the law Monday, and the Shura Council approved it the same day. The law enables the army to protect public property, in coordination with police.

According to the law, the military will act as a police force, which means suspects will be referred to a civilian, rather than military, trial.

Military officers were deployed Saturday in Port Said, Ismailia and Suez due to violent protests that erupted Thursday.

On Sunday, Morsy had imposed a state of emergency and a curfew from 9 pm to 6 am for 30 days in those cities, but went back on his decision and left it up to the governors to decide.

The Armed Forces were previously given temporary arrest powers during the constitutional referendum in December.

The new law would also give the defense minister the power to determine the location of the deployment, state news agency MENA said.

At least 53 people have been killed in nationwide violence since Thursday.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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