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Date set for Morsi trial over Egypt jailbreak

Deposed president Mohamed Morsi and 130 others will go on trial on January 28, judiciary says.

Last updated: 06 Jan 2014 21:01
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Thousands of pro-Morsi supporters have been rounded up by security forces [Reuters]

Egypt's deposed President Mohamed Morsi and 130 others will go on trial on January 28 over a jailbreak during the 2011 uprising, an Egyptian judge said.

Judge Medhat Idriss said the Cairo Appeals Court set the date on Thursday.

Morsi, along with other leaders of the Brotherhood, escaped from prison on Jan. 28, 2011, after being rounded up with other Brotherhood leaders during the 18-day uprising that toppled veteran leader Hosni Mubarak.

The first session of his trial is due on the anniversary of that jail break.

Since Morsi was deposed, security forces have launched a wide crackdown against his Muslim Brotherhood group, arresting thousands over accusations of inciting violence and designating the group a terrorist organisation.       

Morsi has also been charged in connection with the killing of protesters and collaborating with Islamist Hamas group and Hezbollah to carry out a terrorist conspiracy against Egypt.

He could face the death penalty over such charges.

Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected president, was removed from power by the army following massive street protests against his rule.

Hundreds of pro-Morsi supporters who have demanded his reinstatement have been killed when security forces stormed their protest camps in August. Thousands of others have been rounded up by security forces over accusations of violence.

Around 350 police and soldiers have been killed in bombings and shootings since Morsi was deposed.

Last week, the Muslim Brotherhood was designated a terrorist group by the authorities, which accused it of a bombing north of Cairo that killed 15 people. The group denied the accusation.

The designation carries harsh penalties for offenders, including possible death sentences for the movement's convicted leaders and five-year jail terms for protesters.

Promoting the Brotherhood either in writing or verbally can now also lead to prison sentences.

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