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Morsi supporters face mass trial in Egypt

Judicial sources say more than 1,200 supporters, including Muslim Brotherhood's spiritual leader, to face charges.

Last updated: 22 Mar 2014 15:44
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More than 1,200 supporters of Egypt's ousted president Mohamed Morsi face charges in the country's biggest trial since an August police crackdown, judicial sources have said.

Among the defendants in Saturday's trial, to be held south of Cairo n Minya, will be the spiritual leader of Morsi's now-banned Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, the sources said.

Some websites close to the Brotherhood reported that the trial would be held in six separate courts in Minya over six days, with some defendants expected to be tried in absentia, according to AFP news agency. 

The alleged attacks on individuals and public property are said to have taken place in southern Egypt in August, after security forces broke up two Cairo protest camps set up by Morsi supporters.

The defendants are also charged with committing acts of violence that led to the deaths of two policemen in Minya, the sources said.

Morsi is himself currently on trial in three different cases, including one for inciting the killing of protesters outside the presidential palace during his presidency.

The mass trial is part of a crackdown by Egypt's military-installed authorities targeting Morsi's supporters who remain steadfast in demanding his reinstatement.

On Thursday, an Egyptian court sentenced 17 people to 14 years in jail each on charges including assault and occupying public buildings during protests at Cairo's Al-Azhar University last year. 

Morsi, Egypt's first elected and civilian president, was removed by the army last July. His exit triggered widespread unrest across the country.

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