Egypt sets date for new trial of Brotherhood chief

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An Egyptian court has set Dec. 9 for the Muslim Brotherhood chief and senior officials of the movement to face trial on new incitement charges, judicial sources said on Sunday.

Brotherhood General Guide Mohammad Badie and other leaders of the Islamist grouping including Essam al-Erian and Mohammed al-Beltagi face charges of inciting violence in the Cairo neighborhood of Bahr al-Aazam that led to deadly clashes in July.

Badie and his two deputies Khairat al-Shater and Rashad Bayoumi in a separate trial already face other charges related to the deaths of protesters who stormed the Brotherhood’s Cairo headquarters on June 30.

In October, the original judges presiding over that case recused themselves, citing “reasons of conscience.”

The court on Sunday also set December 10 for the trial of former Brotherhood chief Mohammed Mahdi Akef who is accused of insulting the judiciary.

The trials are part of a massive crackdown by authorities against the Brotherhood after the military overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Mursi in July.

Security forces launched a sweeping crackdown on Mursi’s supporters in August, violently dispersing two protest camps in the capital.

More than 1,000 people have been killed since Mursi’s ouster -- mainly his supporters -- and the authorities have arrested some 2,000 Islamists, including most of the Brotherhood’s leadership.

Mursi himself is on trial over his alleged involvement in the deaths of protesters outside the presidential palace in December 2012.

At his first hearing on Nov. 4, he rejected the court’s legitimacy and demanded that the “military coup” leaders be prosecuted instead.

The army ousted Mursi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president, on July 3 after millions of people took to the streets to demand his resignation, accusing him of betraying the revolution that brought him to power.

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