Egyptian state prosecutors have accused ousted President Mohamed Morsi of leaking state secrets in a plot to destabilise Egypt.
At the second hearing of his trial for espionage on Sunday, Morsi, along with 35 others including leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, was accused of conspiring with foreign powers, Palestinian group Hamas and Iran.
The toppled president and the other suspects were said to have divulged “national defence secrets and providing Iranian Revolutionary Guards with security reports in order to destabilise the security and stability of the country.”
The statement read in court did not identify the “foreign country.”
Prosecutors said Morsi and the defendants carried out espionage activities on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas with an aim to “perpetrate terror attacks in the country in order to spread chaos and topple the state” from 2005 to August 2013.
Most of the defendants were also accused of moving armed groups in and out of Egypt in January 2011, in a bid to attack army and police installations and prisons to facilitate the escape of inmates.
At Sunday’s hearing, Morsi was kept in a soundproof glass cage, designed to keep him and the other defendants from interrupting the proceedings.
Defendants including the Brotherhood’s supreme guide Mohamed Badie, his deputy Khairat al-Shater and other Islamist leaders rejected the accusations against them.
“Void, void,” they shouted when the judge asked them if they accepted the charges, the AFP news agency reported.
If found guilty, the defendants could face the death penalty.
On Saturday, Morsi called on his supporters to continue their “peaceful revolution“, during his trial.
Egypt’s military-installed government has pursued a relentless campaign against the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates.
Since his ouster in July, Morsi and the Brotherhood have repeatedly been accused of committing most of the violence during the anti-Mubarak uprising.
Morsi is already on trial for the killing of protesters during his presidency and a jailbreak during the 2011 uprising that ousted his predecessor Hosni Mubarak.
In December, the group was designated a terrorist organisation in a move that gave authorities greater freedom to crackdown on its activities.
Egypt’s first democratically-elected president also faces trial for “insulting the judiciary”, with a date for that yet to be set.