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Morsi accused of 'Egypt's biggest conspiracy'

Deposed president says he is being silenced, as prosecutors tell court he worked with foreign groups to subvert Egypt.

Last updated: 16 Feb 2014 17:26
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The deposed Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi, was accused of committing "the biggest case of conspiracy in the history of Egypt" as he faced court on espionage and terrorism charges.

Prosecutors on Sunday outlined their case against Morsi, stating that he and his group the Muslim Brotherhood conspired with foreign groups in Iran, Lebanon and Gaza to conduct espionage and commit terrorist acts inside Egypt.  

However, the trial was adjourned when Morsi lawyers withdrew from court, after their client complained that he was being kept in a soundproofed dock to silence him.

The former president stated that he was placed in the glass cage to stop him speaking to the people of Egypt.

"We are in a farce, all this because you are afraid of me. You are afraid that the president speaks," Morsi cried out, and told his defence: "If this farce continues, don't come to the court."

The court was adjourned until February 23. 

Case against 

The prosecution says that the Brotherhood was planning in 2005 to send "elements" to the Gaza Strip for military training by Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, adding that, upon their return to Egypt, they would join forces with extremist groups in the Egypt-controlled Sinai region.

The Brotherhood aimed to establish an "Islamic emirate" in North Sinai, according to the prosecution.

Sunday's case is one of four against Morsi. Others charge that he conspired with foreign groups to break out of prison during the fall of his predecessor, Hosni Mubarak, and was complicit in the deaths of people who protested against him while he was in power.

Many of the charges carry the death penalty.

Brotherhood leaders Mohamed Badie, Khairat El-Shater, Mahmoud Ezzat and others have also been charged with crimes that include committing acts of "terrorism" and revealing military secrets.

A total of 36 people are now on trial and the proceedings are seen as the latest crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood, which propelled Morsi to victory in the 2012 presidential election.

The Brotherhood was driven underground after Morsi's removal in July and following Egypt's decision to officially declare it a "terrorist" organisation.

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Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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