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Egypt: Morsi, Brotherhood Leaders Trial Delayed

Egypt: Morsi, Brotherhood Leaders Trial Delayed

Monday, 27 May, 2019 - 07:00
Former President Mohamed Morsi (Reuters)

Cairo Criminal Court postponed until the first of June the trial of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and 28 others, including leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, in the case known as the “illegal crossing of eastern borders”.

The court listened to the defendants’ panel and the lawyers questioned the charges against their clients, including the crimes of “attacking security and police facilities, in agreement with elements of the Lebanese Hezbollah, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).”

Cairo Criminal Court, chaired by Judge Mohammed Shirin Fahmi, summoned several prominent witnesses in the case, including former President Hosni Mubarak and Interior Minister Habib al-Adly.

In his previous testimony in December, Mubarak accused Morsi and Brotherhood leaders of holding meetings with Hezbollah and Hamas to stir chaos in Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey.

The prosecution charged the defendants with “killing 32 security forces and prisoners in Abu Zaabal prison, 14 prisoners in Wadi al-Natrun prison, and a prisoner in al-Marj prison.”

They were also accused of smuggling about 20,000 prisoners from these three prisons and kidnapping three officers and a border guard, and forcibly taking them to Gaza.

In 2016, the Court of Cassation overturned the convictions ranging from rigorous imprisonment to execution, and ordered their retrial in the case.

The previous ruling, revoked by the Cassation Court, was issued by a Cairo criminal court in 2015. The ruling included execution by hanging for Morsi, Brotherhood's general guide Mohamed Badie, his deputy Rashad al-Bayumi, member of the Guidance Bureau Muhi Hamed, Speaker of dissolved parliament Saad el-Katatni, and Brotherhood senior leader Issam al-Aryan. The rest of the defendants were sentenced to life imprisonment.

In similar news, the prosecution re-trialed two defendants, who were previously sentenced in absentia, in the case known as “returnees from Libya” after their arrest. The court set June 10 for sentencing.

The court had previously sentenced 10 present convicts and four in absentia, with sentences ranging between three years and 15 years in prison.

In October, the Court of Cassation accepted the appeal of the defendants, overturned their convictions and ordered their retrial before a new chamber.

The prosecution stated that they were accused of joining an organization with the purpose of disrupting the provisions of the constitution and the law, and terrorism was one the methods they used.

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