February 16, 2014

Morsi Stands Trial On Spying And Terror Charges

Mr Morsi was ousted by the military last July and is facing three other legal cases
Mr Morsi was ousted by the military last July and is facing three other legal cases

Deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has begun a new trial, on charges of espionage and conspiring to commit acts of terror.

He and 35 others are accused of working with Lebanese and Palestinian groups to carry out attacks in Egypt.

The charges are one of four prosecutions that the Islamist former leader now faces.

Mr Morsi was ousted by the military last July following mass street protests against his rule.

Mr Morsi was brought to Cairo’s police academy on Sunday morning by helicopter from the Burj al-Arab prison where he is being held.

The trial was suspended after his lawyers walked out of the courtroom in protest at Mr Morsi and other defendants being confined in a soundproofed glass cage.

The defendants have said they cannot follow proceedings because of the cage, but the judge insisted that headphones installed inside the dock will allow them to listen.

Pro-military protesters had assembled, some demanding Mr Morsi's execution
Pro-military protesters had assembled, some demanding Mr Morsi’s execution

Since Mr Morsi was ousted there has been a severe crackdown on his Muslim Brotherhood group, as well as on other activists seen as hostile to the military-backed government.

The Brotherhood has been declared a terrorist organisation and authorities have punished any public show of support for it.

Other senior Brotherhood figures are also facing a raft of charges, including supreme guide Mohammed Badie and his deputy and former presidential candidate Khairat al-Shater.

At least 1,000 people have died in clashes between security forces and pro-Morsi protesters since he was deposed, with thousands more arrested.

In this latest trial, Mr Morsi is accused of collaborating with the Palestinian movement Hamas, Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. If convicted he could receive the death penalty.

BBC

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