Egypt's Morsi calls his removal treason

Deposed president says through volunteer lawyers he was kidnapped by military a day before announcement of his toppling.

    Egypt's deposed president, Mohamed Morsi, has said he was kidnapped by the military and those who removed him from power of committing "treason against the whole nation".

    A group of volunteer lawyers, not Morsi's defence lawyers, read the message from Morsi at a news conference on Wednesday, a day after they met him in prison.

    Morsi said he intended to sue the army-installed authorities, and that there can be no stability in Egypt unless "the military coup is eliminated and those responsible for shedding Egyptians' blood are held accountable".

    In the letter, Morsi said he was "kidnapped" and held by the Republican Guard on July 2 - a day before he was formally removed by the military. He said he was held at a naval base for four months.

    Morsi was moved to a high security prison in Alexandria on November 4 after the first session of his trial on charges of incitement to murder protesters in December 2012.

    Legal battle

    Mohamed al-Damati, one of the lawyers Morsi met, said: "The president plans to take legal measures against the coup, and this will be up to the defence team in the near future."

    Morsi has so far not agreed on which lawyers will represent him at the trial, which is set to resume on January 8.

    Rory Challands, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Cairo, said: "He is still saying essentially that the court is illegitimate and that it doesn't have the authority to do what it's doing.

    "In taking a defiant tone, not naming legal council, he's leaving hismelf essentially defenceless in the courtroom."

    Meanwhile, Egyptian authorities said the nation's three-month state of emergency and nightly curfews were to be lifted on Thursday.

    No further details were given in Wednesday's announcement made at a news conference by the minister of administrative development, Hany Mahmoud ,

    The army imposed the state of emergency in mid-August amid the political turmoil that gripped the country after the military overthrew Morsi on July 3 in reaction to mass protests against his rule.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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