Second Morsi trial set to start Wednesday in Egypt

Published January 8th, 2014 - 07:39 GMT
Morsi's first trial in November was adjourned after riots inside and outside the courtroom made proceedings impossible (Courtesy of Al Jazeera)
Morsi's first trial in November was adjourned after riots inside and outside the courtroom made proceedings impossible (Courtesy of Al Jazeera)

Ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and 14 co-defendants are set to appear in court on Wednesday for the second session of their trial on charges of inciting murder and violence outside the presidential palace in December 2012.

The first session, which took place in November, represented the first time Egyptians and the world saw Morsi since he was ousted from power in July.

Morsi will be transferred by helicopter from his prison in the heavily guarded Burg Al-Arab Jail, west of Alexandria.

Morsi's co-defendands, seven of whom are being tried in absentia, include prominent Brotherhood members Mohamed El-Beltagi and Essam El-Erian, as well as several Morsi aides, and other well-known Islamist preachers and activists.

The ousted president, El-Beltagi and El-Erian are standing trial in a separate espionage case.

Morsi is also scheduled to appear in another trial on 28 January  – along with 130 others – in a January, 2011 jailbreak case.

The pro-Morsi National Coalition in Support of Legitimacy has called for mass protests at Wednesday's trial venue.

The former president is being tried at the same court as his predecessor Hosni Mubarak, who faces charges of murder and corruption.

Egypt's interior ministry said the high profile trial would be secured by 20,000 police officers.

In December 2012, thousands of Morsi supporters attacked a small opposition sit-in at the Ittihadiya presidential palace who were protesting a constitutional declaration issued by Morsi granting himself extra powers.

The ensuing clashes led to the deaths of nine people.

Morsi was removed from office by the military on 3 July after millions of Egyptians called for his overthrow in mass protests. The Brotherhood-dominated Shura Council was dissolved and the constitution drafted by the group and its allies was subjected to extensive amendments. The amended charter is to be put to a referendum on 14 and 15 January.

The Muslim Brotherhood-led Coalition in Support of Legitimacy has said it does not recognise the legitimacy of the trial claiming Morsi has been kidnapped by an "illegitimate authority."

In the first court session, Morsi attempted to disrupt the proceedings by insisting he was still the legitimate president and denounced the trial as a farce. Morsi's co-defendants also condemned the army and chanted against the judiciary.

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