Cairo: Egypt`s ousted President Mohammed Morsi accused the military chief who deposed him of treason in a message from prison read by lawyers today, saying the country cannot return to stability until the coup is reversed and those behind it are tried.
The statement was part of a bid by Morsi to rally his supporters since his emergence from the secret military detention where he had been held, with virtually no contact with the outside world, since his July 3 ouster.
Morsi was moved to a high security civilian penitentiary last week after the first session of his trial on charges of inciting murder.
There, he had his first extensive meeting with a team of lawyers from his Muslim Brotherhood and other allies yesterday, dictating the "message to the Egyptian people" to them.
But he is emerging to a dramatically changed situation from four months ago.
Since then, a fierce crackdown by security forces has crippled the Brotherhood, several thousand top leaders have been arrested, and hundreds have been killed.
The group has been banned by a court order and a government-appointed committee is reviewing its financial assets with an eye to seize them.
The new military-backed government is pushing ahead with a transition plan aiming for new presidential and parliamentary elections early next year.
Under the crackdown, protests by Morsi`s supporters have dwindled and have been reduced to small gatherings in universities or localized neighborhood rallies.
Security officials, however, worry the protests could flare stronger with the anticipated lifting today or tomorrow of a 3-month-old state of emergency and curfew.
Morsi`s statement lay down a hard line, praising protesters for their "steadfastness" and vowing the coup would be reversed.
"The coup has begun to fall apart and will topple in the face of the steadfastness of the Egyptian people," he said in the statement, read by the lawyers at a press conference. His lawyers stressed that they had taken notes from Morsi and articulated the message themselves.
He said Defense Minister General Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who heads the military, had violated his oath of loyalty and committed "treason against God" and "treason against the whole nation by driving a wedge among the people of Egypt."
He also said Egypt will not see stability until "the military coup is eliminated and those responsible for shedding Egyptians` blood are held accountable."
The 62-year-old Morsi also gave his first accounting of his detention. He said was "kidnapped forcefully and against my will" on July 2, a day before el-Sissi announced the installation of a new interim president.
He said he was kept in a Republican Guards facility for three days, then moved to a naval base.