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Morsy held in isolation from leaders, supporters

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By The Associated Press
Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013, 9:03 p.m.

CAIRO — Deep in the desert and far from his former base of power, ousted President Mohamed Morsy is being held in a sprawling penitentiary that is notorious as one of Egypt's highest-security prisons.

The move appears intended to isolate him from other Muslim Brotherhood leaders who are jailed in Cairo and to prevent his supporters from staging protests — or even trying to engineer a prison break, like those that occurred during the Arab Spring uprising of 2011.

Morsy spent his first night at the Borg el-Arab prison in a hospital room at the facility, complaining of high blood pressure and high blood sugar after a dramatic court appearance earlier Monday, the start of his trial on charges of inciting the killing of protesters in December 2012. The trial was adjourned by the judge for two months.

Morsy, 62, has been reported to have a number of ailments, including diabetes and a peptic ulcer. His room in the prison hospital has a TV set and a private bathroom, security officials said.

The 50-acre prison compound, about 19 miles from Alexandria, is garrisoned by a special unit of the security forces and sits behind layers of high concrete walls. New checkpoints stretching for a mile beyond the prison gates have been set up to make it more difficult for Morsy's supporters to congregate in the area for possible protests.

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