Morsi trial's unanswered questions

Another important question that remains to be asked is about whether Morsi will be taken after the court session to his secret detention place again.

Morsi trial's unanswered questions

World Bulletin / News Desk

While Egypt's ousted president Mohamed Morsi is due to make his first public appearance since July 3 before a Cairo court a few hours from now to face charges of inciting the killing of demonstrators outside the presidential palace in December, many questions about the trial remain without answers.

One of the questions is whether Morsi himself will attend the trial. Statements attributed to the ousted president indicate that he refuses to recognize the legitimacy of the trial and declined to answer the questions of his interrogators. The ousted president is reported to even refuse to attend the court's first session on Monday.

Unstable security conditions across Egypt may make it difficult for the Egyptian authorities to bring Morsi to the courthouse. Supreme leader of the Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed Badei and his first deputy Khairat al-Shatir could not attend a court session on October 29 because of security concerns.

Legal experts, however, say Morsi has to attend the trial on Monday.

"The ousted president is at the hands of the nation's security agencies," Justice Ismail Bassioni, the head of the Alexandria Judges' Club, said in statements to the press earlier.

"This is why these security agencies are responsible for bringing him to the courtroom, even if by force," he added, saying that defendants in criminal cases must show up in court.

He said the court judges will not be able to complete case procedures if Morsi does not attend on Monday. He added the judges will have to adjourn the trial until the authorities manage to bring him to the court or they will be fined.

Still a lot is not known about Morsi's defense team and the lawyer who will defend him in the case. Mohamed al-Damati, the spokesperson of Morsi's defense team, told Anadolu Agency earlier that ex-presidential contender and renowned lawyer Mohamed Selim al-Awa will defend Morsi in the case if Morsi approved to be legally represented.

Al-Damati added that the remaining members of the team will be responsible for defending other people in the case.

Sources close to Morsi's family said they had not hired a lawyer to defend the ousted president. At the same time, leaders from the National Alliance for the Defense of Legitimacy, Morsi's main support block, said there was no defense team for Morsi, simply because no "real" charges are brought up against the ousted president.

They told the website of the Freedom and Justice newspaper, which speaks for Morsi's party, no lawyers were hired to defend Morsi, because he does not recognize the court.

At the same time, some observers say Morsi awaits his trial because he may use the event, not to defend himself, but to challenge the "military coup" on legal grounds and emphasize that he is the legitimate president of Egypt. This will fill the opponents of the coup on the streets with enthusiasm, they believe.

However, rights advocate Nasser Amin told reporters that the judges have the right to interrupt Morsi in case he launches into any political diatribe.

Even with all this, nobody still knows whether the Egyptian public will be given the chance to watch the trial live on television. Days before the trial of Egypt's former president Hosni Mubarak, Egyptians were sure that the trial would be put on air. So far, however, nobody knows whether Morsi's trial would be broadcast or not.

Leaders in the National Alliance for the Defense of Legitimacy challenged what they called the "coup leaders" to put the trial on the air.

In a statement late on Saturday, the leaders of the alliance said the "coup leaders" know well that the ousted president would turn the table on them put them if they broadcast the trial live on TV.

The authorities have not either confirmed or denied news about the possibility that the trial would be televised.

Another important question that remains to be asked is about whether Morsi will be taken after the court session to his secret detention place again.

Some rights groups say the trial will be a real test of the integrity of the judges who should order moving Morsi from his secret detention place to a specific prison, which in this case is expected to be the Tora Prison.

Last Mod: 03 Kasım 2013, 18:36
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