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Morsi in court for inciting killing of protesters

Last Updated: Saturday, February 1, 2014 - 20:38

Cairo: Ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi on Friday appeared in a court for trial on charges of inciting the killing of anti-government protesters in 2012.

Morsi and 14 co-defendants faced charges of inciting murder and violence outside the Ittihadiya Presidential Palace.

The 62-year-old leader and other defendants turned their backs to the judges during the hearing at the Police Academy here and raised their hands in a "Rabaa" sign four fingers held up - that symbolises the violent police crackdown on pro-Morsi protesters in August last year.
Morsi is also facing separate trials on charges related to 2011 jailbreaks, espionage and conspiring with foreign groups like Hamas and Hezbollah to commit terror acts and insulting the judiciary.

The defence lawyers denounced Interim President Adly Mansour`s decision to constitute new courts to look into cases of terrorism. They said it was a clear sign that the executive was interfering with the judiciary.

The lawyers also called for the glass casing surrounding the dock to be removed, stating that defendants cannot hear what is going on in court.

The court unsealed exhibits in the case, which mainly consist of videotapes and pictures of the Ittihadiya clashes, Ahram Online reported.

The trial relates to violence when thousands of Morsi`s supporters attacked a small opposition sit-in staged to protest a constitutional declaration issued by him granting himself exceptional powers. The clashes killed at least 10 people.

The defendants are charged with inciting the killing of three of those protesters.
The last hearing of the case on January 8 was adjourned as Morsi could not be transferred to the court in a helicopter due to bad weather.

Morsi`s co-defendants, seven of whom are being tried in absentia, include prominent Muslim Brotherhood members Mohamed El-Beltagy and Essam El-Erian, several aides and other well-known Islamist preachers and activists.

He was flown in by helicopter this morning from his prison in Alexandria. Heavy security was deployed outside the National Police Academy compound.

The first hearing of the case in November marked the first time Egyptians and the world saw Morsi since he was ousted from power by the army in July last year.

During his trial on charges related to the 2011 jailbreaks on Tuesday, Morsi struck a defiant tone by insisting he was still the "legitimate" head of Egypt and a political prisoner.

First Published: Saturday, February 1, 2014 - 20:38
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