The trial of Egypt’s ousted President Mohamed Morsi was adjourned by a Cairo court to allow time for the further examination of video footage showing clashes between pro- and anti-Morsi protesters which may be linked to the case. Morsi is accused of inciting the killing of protesters outside the presidential palace during unrest in late 2012. Around a dozen people were killed.
Morsi was deposed by the army in July following mass protests against him. The protests were ignited by a decree that expanded Morsi’s powers as President. Dozens of supporters of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood have since been jailed for other crimes.
Since he was ousted, four separate sets of charges have been brought against Morsi. Other charges faced by Morsi include plotting with foreigners to carry out a terrorist conspiracy against Egypt, violence related to a mass jail break in 2011, and insulting the judiciary. At least one of those charges can carry the death penalty.
Morsi has been openly defiant during his previous trials and remained largely silent during this last hearing. A Reuters witness said that several of the 14 other defendants at the hearing turned their back on the judge.
Egypt’s interim government has declared the Brotherhood a “terrorist organization” and is pursuing a fierce crackdown on the group. 13 supporters of the Brotherhood were recently sentenced to six years in jail for illegal assembly and destruction of private and public property by a court in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia.
According to state news agency MENA, 32 Brotherhood supporters in Qalyubia province north of Cairo were convicted of breaking a law that states that making protests without prior police permission is illegal. The accused were sentenced to two years in jail, forced labor and a fine.
Today, Egyptian citizens must consider an army-backed plan for political transition and focus on the presidential and parliamentary elections due to take place within months. Most expect Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to announce his presidential bid soon and he is widely expected to win the presidency easily.