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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Trial of Egypt’s ousted President Mohamed Morsy postponed amid several clashes

Mohamed Morsy arrives to the court
(Image: Click Orlando)
The trial of Egypt’s ousted Islamist backed President Mohamed Morsy has started on Monday, 4 November, at 10 a.m. at the Police Academy located at the outskirts of Cairo, at the same place where the trial of Hosni Mubarak was held.

Mohamed Morsy who was held at an undisclosed location since his ouster by the military on 3 July has arrived to the court room earlier then the scheduled beginning of the court session. Egypt’s former President was escorted to the court room earlier than planned due to security reasons as the threat of the possible clashes and violence have been high. Other 14 co-defendants who face the charges with Mohamed Morsy have also arrived to the court from the Tora Prison where they are being currently jailed.

Protesters during the court session
(Image: The Telegraph)
Mohamed Morsy is facing trial being accused of inciting violence and murder of the protesters during the clashes erupted in December 2012 in front of the Presidential Palace. Massive protests have started after Mohamed Morsy has issued in December his controversial Constitutional Decree giving him actually unlimited powers and putting him above the law and all the state’s institutions as well. The sit-in was organized in front of the Presidential Palace. The sit-in was then brutally attacked by the Morsy’s and Muslim Brotherhood’s supporters causing violent clashes resulted in the death of at least 10 people and injuring of more than 600.

Mohamed Morsy is facing these charges along with other leading Muslim Brotherhood figures including Essam El-Erian (former head of Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party), Ayman Hodhod (Islamist youth figure), Mohamed El-Beltagy (leading Muslim Brotherhood’s figure), Alaa Hamza (also leading person from Muslim Brotherhood), Asaad Shiha (former deputy chief of staff at the presidential palace during the Morsy’s rule), Ahmed Abdel-Ati (former presidential office-manager), Abdel-Rahman Ezz (famous Islamist media figure) and others. Some of them have been tried in absentia as they haven’t been arrested yet.

Mohamed Morsy's supporters in front of the court building
(Image: Yahoo News)
Mohamed Morsy along with his co-defendants could receive the highest penalty if they will be proved guilty. In this case it could life in prison or even death penalty. The latest option has been demanded by some representatives of the prosecution team.

As the court session began there have been some chanting of the Morsy supporters and the lawyers arrived to the court room in order to observe the process as Mohamed Morsy has earlier refused to recognize the court due to try him and didn’t appoint any defendants for his team. They have been chanting against Egypt’s military and its leaders including Abdel Fattah El-Sissi, head of Egypt’s Armed Forces, and have been demanding Mohamed Morsy to be reinstated as President as they consider him being the legal president and refuse to recognize what they call “military coup” and all the processes and changes in the country resulted from the “coup”.

Mohamed Morsy itself has also refused to recognize the court due to try him and also all the authorities of the country appointed after his ouster in the frameworks of the military imposed political roadmap in Egypt. Mohamed Morsy has stated in the court room that he is the legal President of Egypt and that he doesn’t recognize the court and all the interim government as well and demanded to allow him to go back to his presidential functions.

Security forces in front of the Police Academy
(Image: Russia Today)
His co-defendants have also chanted against the court and the current Egyptian government refusing to accept the court and the trial.

Thus the judge presiding over the trial session has declared the trial to be postponed till the 8th of January 2014 due to the disorder in the courtroom and in order to give the prosecution and the defense team as well to examine and study the materials and documents of the case.

The court session has been held without airing due to security reasons, though the media representatives have been presented in a huge amount outside of the court room and outside of the Police Academy building as well.

In addition to that the court stated that Mohamed Morsy should be jailed in the prison on the outskirts of Alexandria while other 14 defendants will be jailed in the Tora prison on the South of Cairo.

Shot of the Egyptian state TV, chanting in the courtroom
(Image: Al-Ahram)
Egypt’s police and security forces have been deployed to the building of the Police Academy and to the neighboring area patrolling it and the roads leading to it as well. The extra security measures and precautions have been taken in case the clashes and disorder erupted.

Several dozens of Mohamed Morsy’s and Muslim Brotherhood’s supporters have gathered in the morning in front of the Police Academy building where Mohamed Morsy was tried, but later their numbers increased reaching several hundred people. They have been chanting for Mohamed Morsy and supporting him claiming he is the only one legitimate President and protesting against the military forces and the current government as well.

Several minor clashes erupted later outside of the Police Academy between Morsy’s supporters and police what resulted in the arrests of several protesters.

Protests have been organized by the Islamist umbrella group Alliance for Support of Legitimacy on the eve of the trial of Mohamed Morsy with several hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood’s and Mohamed Morsy’s loyalists protesting at the different locations in Cairo.

Female protesters supporting Mohamed Morsy
(Image: Deutsche Welle)
Protests have been also held in several other Egyptian governorates including Alexandria, Suez, Upper Egypt and others. Clashes erupted there between Morsy’s supporters and opponents with throwing the stones and rocks, so the police forces intervened and fired teargas in order to disperse the crowds and to stop the clashes and disorder.

Egypt’s Ministry of Health reported about nearly 10 people injured. Police has also arrested nearly 18 people during the clashes.