[QODLink]
Middle East

Egypt sets November trial date for Morsi

Deposed president to stand trial on November 4 with 14 others over killings of protesters outside his palace last year.

Last Modified: 09 Oct 2013 22:36
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

The trial of Egypt's deposed President Mohamed Morsi on charges of inciting the murder of protesters will start on November 4, the official MENA news agency reported.

Morsi will stand trial with 14 other defendants over the killings of protesters outside his presidential palace in December 2012, almost six months before his overthrow in a military coup.

The Cairo Appeals Court also named judge Ahmed Sabry Youssef to preside over the trial, MENA said.

Lawyer Mostafa Atteyah said a meeting of Morsi's defence team, planned later on Wednesday, was to decide on the course of action and name the head of the team. He said so far the legal team has not seen the case's documents.

"This is like all the other cases. It is a fabricated one," Atteyah said, adding that most cases against Brotherhood members are based on weak prosecution. He said Islamist scholar and former presidential candidate Salim al-Awa is expected to lead the defence team.

The case Morsi was charged in dates back to one of the deadliest bouts of violence outside the presidential palace on December 4, protesting a decree Morsi issued to protect his decisions from judicial oversight and a highly disputed draft constitution that was hurriedly adopted by the parliament.

The next day, Morsi's supporters attacked protesters who had camped outside the palace, sparking street battles that left at least 10 dead and bring accusations that Morsi relied on organised mobs to suppress the sit-in.

Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, however, claimed that most of those killed were his supporters.

'Concrete evidence'

Mostafa Al-Azm, a member of the coalition of observers to protect the revolution, which is against the military coup, said the case was "political."

"There's no real evidence that Morsi ordered or was involved in killing protesters at the presidential palace, that's why it took them so long to set a trial date," Al-Azm told Al Jazeera.

On the other hand, Tarek El-Khouly, a spokesperson for the April 6 Democratic Front movement, welcomed the decision to set a court date.

"There is definitely concrete evidence that officials at the presidency, and Morsi himself, were involved in giving orders to beat and kill his opposition," Khouly told Al Jazeera. "We all sensed Morsi's criminal behavior in his speeches, when he condemned protesters who called for his fall and described them as vandals and thugs."

Leading Brotherhood members Essam el-Erian and Mohamed el-Beltagy will be tried alongside Morsi. Erian is currently in hiding.

The military has detained Morsi in a secret location since his overthrow on July 3. His supporters and opponents of military rule have demonstrated across the country since.

Hundreds of people have died in clashes with security forces and many Brotherhood figures have been arrested.

Heba Fahmy contributed reporting from Cairo.

449

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
People are starving in southern Somalia while relief efforts are blocked by government and rebel fighting.
Some scientists say authorities in favour of nuclear energy tend to deny the negative results of researchers.
Report on child sex abuse in British Asian community highlights issues that may affect the entire nation.
Taliban makes quick gains in Afghanistan with little opposition from Afghan army as US withdrawal begins.
Experts from Minamata, Japan check for signs of mercury illnesses in Ontario, Canada.
join our mailing list