Egypt’s ousted Mursi says jail-break trial is ‘void’

CAIRO — Egypt’s deposed President Mohamed Mursi Srejected the right of a court to try him and other Muslim Brotherhood leaders on charges related to a mass jail break in 2011, according to security and judicial sources.

Mursi and his comrades, including the Brotherhood’s top leader Mohamed Badie, are charged with killing and kidnapping policemen, attacking police facilities and breaking out of jail during the 2011 revolution against then-leader Hosni Mubarak.

Mursi:

“As far as I’m concerned, these procedures are void and I don’t accept them.”

Some of the other roughly 130 defendants, who were held in a different courtroom cage from Mursi, applauded him and chanted: “Down with military rule!” It is not unusual for high-profile defendants to be locked up in cages in Egyptian courts.

The authorities have fiercely suppressed the Brotherhood since army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi toppled Mursi in July following mass protests against him. Thousands of Mursi supporters have been killed with hundreds more killed.

The case was adjourned to February 24 after the lawyers defending Muslim cleric Safwat Hegazy asked for the judges to be replaced, which is a matter pending approval from another court.

The request was made because the court was not cooperating with the defense team, according to lawyer Mohamed Abou Layla. The judges refused a request to remove the glass cage to allow defendants to follow proceedings better, according to another lawyer.

Egypt’s authorities have leveled five sets of charges at Mursi, including the killing of protesters and international conspiracy. Mursi could face the death penalty. The Muslim Brotherhood, which renounced violence decades ago, views Mursi as a political prisoner.

In a separate case, a court in Alexandria acquitted six policemen accused of killing dozens of protesters in 2011.

Source: Reuters

 

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