Yara Khalaf, a spokeswoman for Moussa, said there were no official charges and he had not been summoned for investigation. But she declined to comment on the accusations.
Heba Yassin, a spokesman for the Popular Current headed by Sabahi, said Sabahi faced similar charges under Mubarak and his predecessor. She dismissed them as fabrications and an attempt to smear his reputation and silence the opposition.
‘‘Morsi is confirming that he is following the same policies of Mubarak in repressing his opponents and trying to smear their reputation through false accusations,’’ Yassin said.
‘‘Also this is evidence of what we had warned about — the judiciary and the prosecutor-general must be independent and not appointed by the president,’’ she said. ‘‘He is a Morsi appointee and this is where his loyalty lies and he is now implementing orders to eliminate the opposition.’’
The chief prosecutor, Talaat Abdullah, was appointed by Morsi at the height of the political tension over the constitution. He could not be immediately reached for comment.
Morsi’s Nov. 22 presidential decrees appointed Abdullah to replace the chief prosecutor who was a holdover from the Mubarak regime. The judiciary protested the move, seeing it as trampling of its authority to choose the chief prosecutor.
The Supreme Judicial Council, the country’s highest judicial authority, asked Abdullah to step down Wednesday because he was appointed by the president.
Human Rights lawyer Bahy Eddin Hassan said the fact that the chief prosecutor has asked for an investigation meant he is taking the accusations by the lawyers seriously.
Abdullah asked a judge to conduct the investigation, the state news agency reported.
Hassan said this was an attempt to show that the investigation is independent. However the judiciary, like the rest of the country, is divided between supporters and opponents of Morsi and the Brotherhood.
‘‘This is the beginning of a series of events where the judiciary will be used to settle political scores with opponents,’’ Hassan said. ‘‘This is not a new policy. But it is new that a regime that is just starting out uses such tools.’’
With an economic crisis and unpopular austerity measures looming in Egypt, Hassan said: ‘‘The regime wants to keep the opposition busy with its legal battles.’’