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. Hackers’ new Dyre malware infects W.Pa. computers, vexes FBI cyber agents
  2. Pirates likely to seek pitcher, catcher when free agency starts
  3. LaBar: Updated WWE Network numbers, its future
  4. Penguins assistant coach Tocchet wants Letang to shoot more on power play
  5. Ford City’s teamwork, emotion take center stage in semifinal win over Freeport
  6. Pitt, IUP to experiment with 30-second shot clock
  7. Few knew of cyber attack on White House computer network
  8. Friends take to social media to recall Herminie teen
  9. Veteran LB Harrison: Steelers must play to way defense is set up
  10. Homewood welcomes nonprofit Animal Rescue League’s new shelter, clinic
  11. Police: Man wanted in fatal ambush of Pennsylvania trooper finally captured
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.