Egypt’s deposed president Mohamed Morsi called on his followers Saturday to continue their “peaceful revolution”, during his trial on charges related to jailbreaks and attacks on police.
Morsi appeared in court on Saturday in a case that charges him and 130 others over prison breaks that freed some 20,000 inmates during the 18-day revolt in 2011 that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
“The revolution of the people won’t stop – continue your peaceful revolution,” Morsi said from the dock on Saturday.
Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood still stages diminishing weekly protests despite a crackdown that has killed more than 1,400 people since the military overthrew him in July.
The court adjourned the trial, one of four for Morsi, until February 24.
The deposed president and 19 other suspects are charged over the jail break. Some 130 people – including members of the Palestinian Hamas group and the Lebanese Hezbollah – are charged in the case, with many being tried in absentia.
Morsi himself was freed in a prison break that accompanied the turmoil of Egypt’s 2011 revolution before becoming the nation’s first freely elected president a year later.
Police officers’ acquittal
An Egyptian court acquitted six police officers Saturday on charges of killing 83 protesters during the country’s 2011 revolution, the latest in a string of trials that rights group say failed to hold the country’s security forces accountable for demonstrators’ deaths.
The police officers’ case involved the killing of protesters in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria and included the former head of security and of the riot police.
Prosecutors alleged that commanders armed police with live ammunition and allowed officers to shoot at protesters in front of police stations from nearby rooftops.
Not one of the police officers charged with killing protesters in 2011 are behind bars, leading rights groups to accuse Egypt’s judiciary of protecting security forces at the expense of justice.
“The consecutive regimes did not have the political will to hold the criminals accountable, allowing them to go away with it,” said rights lawyer Ahmed Ezzat, who works with the prominent Freedom of Though and Expression group.