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Badie protests prosecution’s court argument: Lawyer

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Muslim Brotherhood leaders’ trial for inciting violence postponed to 14 June

Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie (L) stands trial alongside 13 others for complicity in the violent clashes which took place around the Istiqama Mosque in Giza on 23 July 2013. (Photo by Ahmed Al-Malky)

Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie (L) stands trial alongside 13 others for complicity in the violent clashes which took place around the Istiqama Mosque in Giza on 23 July 2013.
(Photo by Ahmed Al-Malky)

Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie was ordered outside the courtroom on Saturday after he protested against the prosecution’s argument, his lawyer Mohamed Damati said.

Badie stands trial alongside 13 others for complicity in the violent clashes which took place around the Istiqama Mosque in Giza on 23 July 2013.

Other defendants include: Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) Secretary General Mohamed Al-Beltagy, FJP deputy-chairman Essam El-Erian, conservative preacher Safwat Hegazy, and former Supply Minister Bassem Ouda.

The trial was postponed to 14 June, when the court is expected to resume hearing the witnesses’ testimonies.

Damati said that during its argument, the prosecution likened the 14 defendants in the case to those who defied Muslim prophet Muhammad’s leadership after his death. The defendants and their defence team rejected the comparison, Damati said, and considered it “libel and defamation” against them. The comparison especially angered Badie, Al-Beltagy, Hegazy and Ouda, whose loud protests prompted the judge to have them taken outside the courtroom.

On Saturday, the court heard the testimonies of two out of six witnesses summoned to testify against the defendants, Damati said.

The defendants are accused of: murder, attempted murder, planning and taking part in an illegal assembly, vandilising properties and causing injuries. Four of the defendants are being tried in absentia, including senior Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya member Assem Abdel Maged.

The Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide Badie faces a slew of other charges in separate cases. He is among 638 who were sentenced to death on 28 April by the Minya Criminal Court for allegedly killing two policemen and breaking into the Edwa Police Station on 14 August.

Badie also stands trial alongside 50 others for purportedly “forming an operations room to direct the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group to defy the government during the Rabaa sit-in dispersal, and spread chaos in the country [by] breaking into police stations, government institutions, private property, and churches”.

Al-Beltagy and Hegazy are also being tried for partaking in the kidnapping and torture of two police officers during the Rabaa sit-in.

These trials are part of a series of other trials that began against Brotherhood figures after the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi last July, who himself is in detention and faces four separate trials.

Additional reporting by Hend Kortam


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