Three judges presiding over the trial of Egypt’s senior Muslim Brotherhood members have stepped down after the defendants disrupted the proceedings and chanted against the judiciary.
Wednesday’s events were the second time that a three-judge panel resigned from the trial.
Previously, on October 29, three other judges stepped down after police failed to bring defendants into the court, citing an inability to secure the courtroom.
The move was at the time seen as a criticism of the fairness of the proceedings.
Ranking Brotherhood figures, including the group’s leader, Mohammed Badie, and deputy Khairat el-Shater face charges of inciting the killing of peaceful demonstrators and attempted murder.
Presiding judge Mostafa Salama suspended the proceedings as Badie and his co-defendants chanted against the government installed by the military in the wake of the removal of Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president.
But at the resumption, mayhem again erupted in the dock, with the accused chanting “Sisi traitor, Sisi traitor” in reference to Egyptian military chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
“I asked the accused to remain calm but they did not do so. Therefore we are recusing ourselves,” Salama said before he and his two fellow judges walked out.
In a brief address from the dock, Badie, dressed in white prison uniform like his fellow-accused, railed against the new authorities, accusing them of carrying out a coup d’etat by deposing Morsi.