CAIRO — Egypt arrested two senior Muslim Brotherhood leaders, officials said Tuesday, increasing pressure on the Islamist group at a time when its ranks are divided over whether to pursue a course of direct violent confrontation with the government in response to a nearly 2-year-old heavy crackdown.
The arrests came as a judge said Tuesday he would announce his final decision on June 16 concerning a death sentence against former President Mohammed Morsi and more than 100 others found guilty on charges of carrying out a 2011 prison break. Once the decision is finalized, Morsi and others can still appeal the verdict.
The judge handed down a tentative death sentence against Morsi and the others last month. But under Egyptian law, the country’s top Muslim cleric, the mufti, must issue a non-binding opinion on any death sentence before it can be officially issued. The judge said he had received the mufti’s opinion Tuesday morning and would issue his final ruling on the sentence in two weeks.