Egyptian President Mohammad Mursi said that he rejected the charge of killing protesters, which he is about to be tried for on Monday, according to a recording of his July 30 meeting with EU Foreign Affairs Chief Catherine Ashton, obtained by newspaper al-Watan.
According to the newspaper, Mursi said: “I totally refuse the issue that I'm accused [of] because the procedure of trying a president is completely different according to the constitution.
“If I go to trial, I will defend myself at court. I did not get involved in killing protesters. I will say this to the judges,” he reportedly added during the July 30 meeting at an undisclosed location.
The ousted Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated president will stand trial on Nov. 4, with 14 other defendants, over the killings of protesters outside the presidential palace in the Heliopolis district of Cairo in December 2012.
According to the newspaper, he further acknowledged that millions of Egyptians took to the streets on June 30 to demand his ouster.
“Yes, millions took out [to the streets]. They say 30 million. They should have waited for parliamentary elections,” Mursi reportedly says.
For her part, Ashton reportedly told Mursi that he should have listened to the protests demanding his resignation.
“Millions of Egyptians took to the streets demanding that you and the Brotherhood exit [power]. You must’ve listened to them. This is democracy,” she reportedly said.
Following the protests demanding his resignation, Mursi was removed from power in a Military-led ouster on July 3.
Ashton reportedly asked Mursi why he did not remove former prime Minister Hisham Qandil’s government and why he didn’t accept holding early presidential elections.
Mursi reportedly replied by saying that the president of the country is the ultimate decision maker, according to al-Watan.
“Now if the country has a president, then he’s the one who should act and make decisions. He’s the one in charge because it's not acceptable for each person to have an opinion and then implement it for them,” Mursi reportedly said.