Morsi's trial adjourned on first day
A female supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and of ousted president Mohamed Morsi during a rally outside the Police Academy where his trial is taking place on November 4, 2013, in Cairo. [GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images]
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The judge presiding over the trial of deposed president Mohamed Morsi on inciting murder charges temporarily suspended the first session of the trial on Monday morning as defendants chanted in cage asserting the trial is illegitimate, reported Egypt state TV.
Morsi, who was ousted by the army on 3 July amid mass protests against him, has reportedly announced that he would not recognise the authority of any courts claiming he remains the country's legal president.
The trial proceedings are not being aired.
Morsi and 14 other senior Islamists and Muslim Brotherhood figures are standing trial on charges of inciting violence and murder at the Ittihadiya presidential palace clashes in December 2012.
At least ten died and 600 were injured in the clashes, which broke out after pro-Morsi protesters attacked a sit-in held by opponents of a presidential decree which had granted the Islamist leader expanded powers.
Footage which circulated on social media outlet showed Brotherhood supporters at Ittihadiya abducting, beating and abusing anti-Morsi demonstrators for hours at a time during the clashes.
Morsi attacks court
Mohamed Morsi has asserted that he is the legitmate president of the country, calling on "Egypt's judiciary not to provide cover for the criminal coup d'etat," in reference to his ouster on 3 July.
Morsi added that he was brought to court "by force" calling on the judges to allow him to practice his powers as president, reported Al-Ahram Arabic news website.
According to Ahram Online reporter, minor scuffles broke out inside the court between supporters and opponents of the deposed president.
Morsi had arrived at court earlier than expected on Monday, amid security concerns over possible violence by his supporters.
The deposed president had been transported by helicopter to court at the Police Academy in New Cairo earlier in the morning.His co-defendants were transferred to court via armoured vehicles from south Cairo's Tora prison.
Seven of the defendants are still at large and will be tried in absentia, including Islamist activist Ahmed El-Mogheer and preacher Wagdi Ghoneim.
Defence, supporters, opponents
Ayman Nihad, lawyer for 14 of the defendants, told Ahram Online he would request incorporating reports into the case that accuse then interior minister Ahmed Gamaleddin of "responsiblity for the killings."
The attorney said he would also request access to all documents in the case after the court had denied lawyers permission to examine evidence prior to Monday's opening session.
Lawyers and journalists who have the appropriate permits entered the court shortly after 10am.
Defence attorneys for the deposed president include prominent lawyer and Islamist thinker Mohamed Selim El-Awa who reportedly recieved a warm welcome by Morsi loyalists who chanted: "Where is the press, the honourable man is here."
El-Awa, a former presidential candidate, complained that many of Morsi's lawyers are not being allowed into court.
According to the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party website, only 4 out of 28 of Morsi's lawyers were allowed in court.
"This did not happen during Mubarak's trial," El-Awa told reporters outside the court.
Security arrangements by both police and military surounding the court have been intensified.
The pro-Morsi National Alliance to Support Legitimacy on Sunday reiterated its call for supporters to rally at the court on Monday.
According to Ahram Online reporter outside the academy, several dozen Morsi protesters have gathered near army barricades surrounding street entrances to the trial venue chanting "down with military rule," and "With our lives and blood we defend Islam."
Morsi supporters also chanted against general commander of the armed forces Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.
Many pro-Morsi protesters are reluctant to speak to the media unless its Qatari-owned Al-Jazeera channel.
However, Gamal Azzab, one pro-Morsi demonstrator told Ahram Online: "I'm not a protester. I’m a sympathiser with president Morsi after the coup has sabotaged his legitimacy. The 2012 constitution that all Egyptians had voted for states that a president stays for four years."
Meanwhile, a few anti-Morsi protesters chanted "down with the traitor, down with the terrorist."
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