Morsi trial restarts after postponement

The ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi has arrived in court for the first day of his trial, as tensions in Egypt run high.

Morsi trial restarts after postponement

World Bulletin / News Desk

The judge dealing with the case of the ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi has restarted the first session after suspending the it because of chants by Morsi supporters and opponents outside the court house on the first day of his trial. 7 protestors also displayed the famous 'Rabaa' hand signal in the court room in support of Morsi, while plaintiff lawyers chanted against Morsi, calling for the death sentence.

Morsi turned up to his trial in the Police Academy in eastern Cairo in a suit having refused to wear a prison uniform. Morsi also refused to sign any documentation for the trial, dismissing court proceedings as "farcical," the sources added.

The trial's first session kicked off at 10:30am local time, according to state television. He faces charges of inciting the killing of demonstrators outside the presidential palace late last year. Fourteen other Muslim Brotherhood and ex-presidency figures face the same charges. If found guilty, he may face the death sentence.

Reports have suggested that Mohamed Morsi, who was ousted in a military coup on 3 July, will be defending himself in court. Already hundreds of pro-Morsi supporters have been killed by live ammunition fired by the army and police in the months following the coup.

The National Alliance for the Defense of Legitimacy, the ousted president's main support bloc, has urged supporters to stage mass protests outside the courthouse. They have dismissed the trial as illegal.

PROTESTERS CLASH OUTSIDE OF COURTHOUSE

Police stepped up their presence outside the courthouse as Morsi supporters continued to stream in.

"Illegitimate, illegitimate!" protesters chanted, referring to the trial which they believe lacks constitutionality. "Down with military rule!"

Some carried flags bearing the now-famous four-fingered "Rabaa salute" symbolizing the hundreds of peaceful protesters killed in mid-August when security forces violently dispersed a pro-democracy sit-in in Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya Square.

At one point, clashes erupted between Morsi supporters and reporters from an Arab news channel after the former accused the channel of bias against the ousted president.

One man waving an Egyptian flag - apparently a critic of the ousted president - made his presence known near the barbed-wire barriers erected by police officers around the Police Academy's gates, calling for the execution of Morsi and other Muslim Brotherhood leaders.

 

HIGH SECURITY

Egyptian authorities on Monday closed Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo as ousted elected president Mohamed Morsi arrived in court in eastern Cairo for the first day of his controversial trial.

Military armored vehicles blocked entrances to the iconic square, fearing Morsi supporters might attempt to stage demonstrations to protest his trial. Police blocked the way to Gate 8 of the Police Academy, used for the entry of lawyers and Morsi's defense team.

In the northern Sinai Peninsula, which has seen almost daily attacks on security forces since Morsi's July 3 ouster by the military, authorities took extra measures to protect police and army checkpoints in the area.

Security personnel placed sandbags around the North Sinai Security Directorate and governor's office, eyewitnesses told Anadolu Agency.

They added that authorities had also closed all roads leading to police stations throughout the restive region.

Police continue to actively patrol the streets of Al-Arish, capital city of Egypt's North Sinai province.

Troops have also been deployed on all highways leading to the flashpoint city, the eyewitnesses said.

School attendance in the city, meanwhile, was noticeably low on Monday.

Morsi supporters have announced plans to stage rallies in Al-Arish later on Monday to protest the ousted leader's controversial trial.

Sources within the legal defense team of ousted Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi told Anadolu Agency Monday that they had received only seven permits to attend Morsi's Monday trial out of a total of 30 requested from judicial authorities.

They said that permits had been given to defense team head Selim al-Awa, a former presidential contender, and to six other team members.

The sources said the lawyers had gone to great lengths to get the permits, adding that some of them had had to give up seats at the trial so that colleagues might take their place.

Members of the prosecution and media personnel, by contrast, received a total of 600 permits, the sources said.

MORSI SUPPORTERS IN NILE DELTA WARNED

Muslim Brotherhood members and sympathizers in Egypt's Nile Delta Menoufiya province were warned on Monday not to leave their homes or stage protests in support of ousted President Mohamed Morsi, whose trial kicked off Monday.

"All Muslim Brotherhood members should stay home and not join any protests," read leaflets, distributed by unknown individuals.

"Whoever doesn't heed this warning will have only themself to blame," it added.

The leaflets were signed by people calling themselves "honest citizens."

MORSI'S SON BARRED FROM TRAVEL

Cairo Airport authorities late Sunday prevented the elder son of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, Osama, from traveling for the second time in less than 24 hours, a high-ranking security source at the airport said.

Osama was due to take off to Malaysia, but he was prevented from completing his travel procedures at the airport, the source added.

"Airport authorities had received Osama's passport and asked him to wait until they make inquiries at a sovereign agency, but this agency had not responded until Osama's plane took off," the source said.

Osama was not on any travel ban lists, the source said. "He is not criminally wanted either," he added.

The source said the son of the ousted president was well treated at the airport, but authorities had to stop his travel procedures because of the lack of response from the security agency.

Osama was prevented from travelling earlier in the day, but later he said airport authorities had told him that banning him from travel was a mere "procedural mistake".

"The authorities had denied the presence of orders from any sovereign authorities for preventing me from travelling," Osama told Anadolu Agency as he left the airport earlier.

FAMILY MEMBERS PREVENTED FROM ATTENDING TRIAL

Mohamed Morsi's brother Hussein also said he and other family members from Morsi's hometown in the Sharqiya province had been prevented from attending the first session of Morsi's trial.

"Morsi has done nothing wrong," Hussein Morsi told Anadolu Agency.

"How can a man who memorizes the Quran be accused of killing his own people?" he asked.

Hussein insisted that the trial "is not based on factual evidence," describing it as an "act of revenge against the Muslim Brotherhood," in reference to the group from which Morsi hails.

Another one of Morsi's sons, Ahmet, asserted that the regime of toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak was behind the trial of his father, which began Monday morning.

"The legitimate president, Mohamed Morsi, is being tried at the same place where Mubarak was tried," Ahmed Morsi tweeted on Monday.

"They're sending the message that they're trying him [Morsi] for Mubarak's sake," he added.

Last Mod: 04 Kasım 2013, 13:16
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