TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Morsy decries 'treason' at trial

Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

CAIRO — Ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy and other Muslim Brotherhood defendants denounced their trial on criminal charges during a brief appearance on Monday.

Judge Ahmed Sabry twice suspended the three-hour hearing as defendants shouted and lawyers scuffled. He finally adjourned it until Jan. 8 and ordered Morsy held in a prison near Alexandria.

“I am Dr. Mohamed Morsy, the president of the republic,” the deposed leader shouted from a black mesh defendant's cage. “I don't want the judiciary to be a cover for a coup.”

It was his first public appearance since his July 3 ouster. He wore a dark suit and looked fit, despite rumors that he had been mistreated or fallen ill while in custody. He refused to wear a prison jumpsuit.

Calling his ouster “treason,” he demanded trials for “the leaders of the coup.”

Morsy and 14 co-defendants are accused of inciting violence against protesters in a December demonstration in which 11 people died and more than 600 were injured. Scores of protesters were imprisoned overnight and beaten by Brotherhood followers.

Five Brotherhood leaders among the accused, dressed in white prison tracksuits, applauded Morsy and chanted against the military.

Their lawyers raised four fingers to recall the hundreds of Morsy supporters killed or arrested during the August break-up of two Islamist sit-ins.

Egyptian reporters covering the proceeding chanted as well. “Execution, God willing, execution!” one female journalist shouted. She was quickly joined by others standing on wooden benches and pointing at Morsy.

At one point, opposing lawyers nearly came to blows.

Cameras and other recording devices were banned; only Egyptian state television was allowed to film the hearing.

The defendants include Essam el-Erian, former deputy chairman of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice political party, and senior Brotherhood leader Mohamed el-Beltagy.

Eight others charged in the case are in hiding and will be tried in absentia.

The case revolves around a Dec. 5 protest against Morsy's assumption of near-absolute powers. Brotherhood followers attacked the small sit-in at the presidential palace, and clashes spread across the capital; the Brotherhood said eight of its followers died.

The charges — filed by respected human-rights lawyer Ragia Omran, months before Morsy's ouster — are related to three slayings, more than 40 cases of torture and injuries suffered by more than 200.

Morsy supporters held a small demonstration near the heavily guarded court compound and marched in sections of Cairo, but not in the large numbers of earlier days.

The courtroom, in a police academy, was the site of a trial for Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted as president in 2011. On one wall topped by barbed-wire was graffiti reading “Mubarak is the president.” More than 1,000 Islamists have been killed and thousands arrested since August.

Betsy Hiel is the Tribune-Review's foreign correspondent. Email her at bhiel@tribweb.com.

 

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Rossi: Johnston must reach Malkin in Moscow
  2. Steelers are in familiar territory going into training camp in Latrobe
  3. Liriano, Snider lift Pirates to a victory over Dodgers at PNC Park
  4. New Penguins coach to meet with Malkin
  5. Pirates notebook: Recovering Cole exceeds expectations in simulated game
  6. Ex-Milwaukee archbishop told he can’t spend final days at St. Vincent Archabbey
  7. Hookah bar on tap for Greensburg
  8. 3 identified in Route 66 crash near Delmont
  9. Greensburg pawn shop aids in arrest of home repair scam suspect
  10. Truck drivers taken to hospital after Pa. Turnpike crash in Butler County
  11. Blum’s work shines a light on lives of those from Appalachia
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.