World Bulletin / News Desk
"The defense team asked the presiding judge to meet with Morsi – a request granted by the judge, who suspended proceedings for 30 minutes," a television correspondent reported from the scene.
The meeting was conducted inside the soundproof glass cage in which Morsi was kept during the court session, he added.
Before the break, Morsi, once his microphone was turned on, had shouted at the judges that he was Egypt's "legitimate president."
"Morsi engaged in a verbal altercation with the judges, saying they weren't in a position to try him because he is the country's legitimate president," the reporter said.
The other defendants also shouted, but their voices could not be heard from inside the separate glass cage in which they were held.
They also flashed the four-fingered Rabaa salute, which commemorates hundreds of demonstrators killed last August when security forces dispersed two major pro-Morsi sit-ins.
Egyptian television later aired footage from the trial, showing a representative of the prosecution listing the names of the defendants and the charges against them.
Along with Morsi, trial defendants include Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie; Badie's deputy, Mahmoud Ezzat; former parliament speaker Saad al-Katatni; and senior group members Mohamed al-Beltagi, Essam Erian and Saad al-Husseini.
The list also includes members of Palestinian resistance movement Hamas and Lebanese militant faction Hezbollah, along with prominent Qatar-based Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi – all of whom are to be tried in absentia.
Prosecutors accuse Hezbollah and Hamas – along with Iran's Revolutionary Guards – of complicity in the mass jailbreak.
According to a statement issued by investigating judges, 800 foreign operatives crossed the border into the Sinai Peninsula from the Gaza Strip during Egypt's January 2011 uprising that ousted longstanding president Hosni Mubarak.
The statement goes on to claim that the operatives had attacked police and government facilities in Sinai, leaving several policemen dead, before breaking into Wadi Natrun, Abu Zaabal and Al-Marg prisons in northern Cairo.
It also accuses the attackers of killing more than 50 policemen and prisoners before helping their associates escape with more than 20,000 other convicts.
The defendants insist that virtually all of the charges against them are politically motivated.