Egypt's ousted president Morsi trial adjourned

Ousted president Mohamed Morsi appeared for the third session of his trial on charges of inciting the killing of demonstrators outside Cairo's Ittihadiya presidential palace in December 2012, charges which many believe are politically motivated.

Egypt's ousted president Morsi trial adjourned

World Bulletin / News Desk

An Egyptian court on Saturday adjourned until Tuesday, February 4, the trial of ousted president Mohamed Morsi and 14 other defendants on charges of inciting the killing of demonstrators outside the presidential palace in 2012.

The North Cairo Criminal Court adjourned the trial to enlist the services of a technical committee from the Egyptian Radio and Television Union to examine CDs submitted by prosecutors during Saturday's session.

The CDs contain footage of clashes that took place outside the presidential Ittihadiya Palace in December 2012 between Morsi's opponents and supporters when he was still in office.

Morsi's lawyer Mohamed Selim Al-Awa had earlier challenged the court jurisdiction to try the ousted president.

Al-Awa argued that according to article 159 of Egypt's new constitution, a president of the republic must be tried before a special court that is chaired by the head of the Supreme Judicial Council.

The lawyer also cast doubts on evidence presented by prosecutors against Morsi, sources told Anadolu Agency.

He also objected to placing Morsi and other defendants inside a glass box in the courtroom, describing the move as a violation of all international norms and conventions, the sources added.

Morsi – along with 14 other defendants, including several other high-ranking Muslim Brotherhood officials – face charges of inciting the murder of protesters outside Cairo's Ittihadiya presidential palace in December 2012.

Seven of the trial defendants are being tried in absentia.

During Saturday's session, the defendants flashed the four-fingered Rabaa sign in memory of hundreds of Morsi backers killed when their protest camp was violently cleared by security forces in mid-August.

The defendants also gave their backs to the judges, the sources said.

Al-Awa accused Interim President Adly Mansour of meddling in the work of the judiciary by calling last week for increasing the number of court divisions looking into terrorism and espionage cases.

Morsi was removed from office – and subsequently imprisoned – by Egypt's military last July following protests against his presidency.

He did not show up to a second trial session on the same case on January 8. At the time, security officials cited "bad weather" as the reason for their apparent failure to transfer Morsi to the trial venue in Cairo.

In previous court sessions, Morsi has insisted that he still represents Egypt's legitimate president, refusing to recognize the trial's legitimacy.

Morsi's lawyer attacked outside Cairo courthouse

A lawyer of ousted president Mohamed Morsi was attacked by supporters of the military-backed authorities outside an eastern Cairo court where the ex-president and 14 other defendants are standing trial on charges of inciting the killing of demonstrators outside the presidential palace in 2012.

Mohamed Selim al-Awa, a veteran lawyer who defends Morsi in the case, was disrupted by Morsi's opponents, who tried to attack him and destroy his car outside the trial venue in eastern Cairo, according to an Anadolu Agency correspondent.

Morsi's opponents chanted "traitor" at the veteran lawyer, but policemen guarding the courthouse quickly intervened to protect al-Awa and get him inside the courthouse.

Supporters of the ousted president were not seen outside the trial venue.

Relatives of Brotherhood victims in Ittihadiya case to sue Egypt at int'l courts

Relatives of eight Muslim Brotherhood members killed by opposition demonstrators outside the presidential palace when ousted president Mohamed Morsi was still in office plan to take Egyptian authorities to international courts for "discrimination".

"Going to international courts is our only option as the Egyptian judiciary continues to deny justice to our relatives," Asmaa Ammar, the wife of Mohamed Khalaf, one of the Muslim Brotherhood victims, told Anadolu Agency.

Eleven people were killed in clashes between supporters and opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood outside the Ittihadiya presidential palace in December 2012.

The victims include eight Muslim Brotherhood supporters and three opposition demonstrators.

As their relatives were not included in the case, families of the Brotherhood victims had given a 100-day deadline for the Egyptian government to include their relatives in the case.

"However, judicial authorities did not take any action, leaving us with no other option but to resort to international tribunals to seek justice," Ammar said.

In a statement on Saturdays, families of the Brotherhood victims said that the London-based Arab Organization for Human Rights has found fault with the legal measures taken by Egyptian authorities in the case.

"This makes it easy for us to file lawsuits at international courts," the families said, adding that the first legal measure will be taken at the African Court on Human and People's Rights.

Amr Alieddin, a solicitor for the Muslim Brotherhood victims, said that prosecutors included Morsi and Muslim Brotherhood leaders in the case based on lawsuits filed by the National Salvation Front – a main opposition bloc against Morsi – accusing them of killing three protesters outside the Ittihadiya palace.

"However, authorities put the lawsuits of the killing of Muslim Brotherhood on the back burner," he said.

Ammar, the wife of the Muslim Brotherhood victim, said the failure of the Egyptian authorities to add the Muslim Brotherhood victims in the case shows that "the trial is a farce".

"We will not abandon the blood of the martyrs," a defiant Ammar said. "We will continue our legal struggle to achieve justice."

Last Mod: 01 Şubat 2014, 16:58
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