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First of 3 Morsi trials taking place this week postponed to Sunday

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Morsi will stand trial for a prison break and espionage on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively

An image grab taken from Egyptian state TV shows deposed president Morsi during his trial on charges of breaking out of prison on 28 January 2014 (AFP Photo)

An image grab taken from Egyptian state TV shows deposed president Morsi during his trial on charges of breaking out of prison on 28 January 2014 (AFP Photo)

Ousted president Mohamed Morsi’s trial for charges related to fatal clashes at the presidential palace in 2012 was delayed for one day on Saturday.

Additional witnesses in the case are scheduled to provide testimony on Sunday. Among those due to testify is former Minister of Interior Ahmed Gamal El-Din, who presided over the ministry when the clashes in question took place.

Morsi and some of the 14 other defendants standing trial before the Cairo Criminal Court attended Saturday’s session at the Police Academy amid tight security. Witnesses were scheduled to testify for the hearing for which a gag order was issued, according to state-owned Al-Ahram.

Saturday’s hearing was the first of three for the former president for three separate court cases this week.

The defendants, which are charged with inciting the killing of protesters, includes prominent Islamist figures including Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed Badie, Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) Chairman Saad Al-Katatny, ultraconservative preacher Wagdy Ghoneim and senior FJP member Mohamed Al-Beltagy.

Originally scheduled for 28 January, the trial has faced repeated delays since.

Morsi will also continue standing trial along with 130 others for allegedly plotting the 28 January 2011 Wadi Al-Natroun prison break on Tuesday. The defendants in the case include members of Gaza-based Palestinian resistance group Hamas, Lebanese militant group Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood.

The last hearing for the prison break case was on 24 February. The charges include damaging and setting fire to prison buildings, murder, attempted murder and looting prison weapon depots. They are also accused of freeing “dangerous criminals”.

Prosecution alleges that the prison break was staged with the aid of Hamas and Hezbollah, claiming that the militant groups infiltrated Egypt through tunnels and attacked police and governmental installations.

Morsi is scheduled to stand trial for his third case, in which he and 25 other defendants face charges of espionage, on Wednesday.

Lawyers representing the defence in the prison break case and espionage case had previously requested that new judges be appointed for both trials and that a new panel of judges examines the cases. However, the request was rejected.

The Anti-Coup Alliance, backed by the Muslim Brotherhood and other groups that recognise Morsi as Egypt’s legitimate president, released a statement on Friday criticising the authorities for allegedly withholding information concerning the ousted president’s detention and treatment.

Morsi will also stand trial for a fourth case in which he is charged with insulting the judiciary, along with an eclectic list of 24 other defendants that include leading members of the Muslim Brotherhood, journalists and activists.


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