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Trial of Egypt's Morsi due to begin

Deposed president, who has been held in prison since his overthrow on July 3, is accused of incitement to murder.

Last Modified: 04 Nov 2013 06:54
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Egypt’s deposed President Mohamed Morsi is due to stand trial to face charges of inciting violence and murder in connection with clashes in front of presidential palace in Cairo in December.

Morsi and many of the 14 other defendants due to stand trial arrived at the venue - the Police Academy on the outskirts of the Egyptian capital - on Monday.

The proceedings, which will not be aired live on state TV, are due to begin at 08:00 GMT.

Essam el-Erian, vice president of the Brotherhood's political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, and Mohamed el-Beltagi, a former member of parliament, arrived at about the same time as Morsi at the Police Academy, according to an Egypt State TV reporter.

Morsi will face charges for the death of three out of 11 protesters who were killed in the violent clashes during demonstrations against his constitutional declaration, which gave him vast powers that many believed were steps towards authoritarianism.

"The other seven, who were members and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, were excluded by the prosecutor from the case… this will also be brought up in the trial,'' Mohamed al-Damati, a member of the defence team, told Al Jazeera.

Morsi, who has been under arrest in an undisclosed location since his overthrow on July 3, has rejected the trial and still considers himself to be the legitimate president of Egypt.

Al-Damati said that Morsi refrained from answering questions during the interrogations, considering them "invalid".

He added that the defence team, which has no access to Morsi, received documents of the court case only on Saturday night, although a request had been filed more than 20 days ago.

A coalition led by Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood has called for a mass protest, triggering the military-backed government to put in place huge security arrangement.

The Interior Ministry has said that about 20,000 security personnel will be deployed to secure the trial and other state institutions.

The ministry said in a statement that it would take all ''security measures to prevent possible attacks in accordance with the law".

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Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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