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Egypt adjourns mass trial of Morsi supporters

Judge to issue verdict on Monday in case against more than 500 Morsi supporters accused of committing acts of violence.

Last updated: 23 Mar 2014 02:59
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A court in Egypt has adjourned the mass trial of more than 1,200 supporters of deposed Islamist President Mohamed Morsi after a brief hearing, state media reported.

The country's biggest trial since the army removed Morsi last July, after a turbulent single year in office, was adjourned until Monday, AFP news agency reported.

Lawyer Khaled el-Koumi said the presiding judge in court angrily refused defence demands at the opening session on Saturday to postpone the case until they could review documents, the AP news agency reported.

More than 500 defendants faced charges at a court in Minya, south of Cairo, with the trial of the remainder due to begin on Tuesday, state news agency MENA reported.

The legal proceedings are part of a crackdown by the military-installed authorities on Morsi's supporters who remain steadfast in demanding his reinstatement.

Egypt's first elected and civilian president was ousted by the army on July 3 in a move that triggered widespread unrest across a deeply polarised nation.

Acts of violence

The defendants are accused of attacking both people and public property in southern Egypt in August, after security forces broke up two Cairo protest camps set up by Morsi supporters.

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

Monday's session is set to further examine charges against those defendants who attended Saturday's hearing.

The court session was closed to the media, so it was unclear how many of the accused appeared in person.

Egypt's legal system is bogged down with trials

Earlier, the judicial sources said around 200 of the defendants are in detention, while others are either out on bail or on the run.

Among the defendants are the supreme guide of the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammed Badie, and several other leaders of the movement, MENA reported.

Amnesty International says at least 1,400 people have been killed in violence across Egypt since then, while thousands more have been arrested.

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

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