Judges walk out of Egypt Brotherhood trial

Disorder among defendants cited as reason for chaotic trial being halted for second time

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The trial of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood members came to a halt on Wednesday after the three judges walked out due to disorder among the defendants.

The Muslim Brotherhood members standing trial, including Supreme Guide Mohammad Badie, reportedly disrupted the proceedings by chanting slogans against the judiciary.

It is the second time the trial has been halted. On October 29 police failed to bring the defendants, including six senior Muslim Brother members, into the court claiming they were unable to secure the courtroom.

“We step down in both cases and we are sending the cases back to the head of the appeal court. The head of the appeal court will assign these cases to another court. Meanwhile, the defendants remain imprisoned,” Judge Mohammad el-Qarmouti said at the time.

The judges said they could not preside over the trial citing “reasons of conscience,” in a move seen as disapproval of the fairness of the trial.

A second round of judges stepped down on Wednesday after the defendants began yelling anti-government slogans from the dock.

Chief judge Mostafa Salama announced the panel was stepping down.

The trial is part of a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies since the military overthrew Mohammad Mursi, Egypt’s first freely elected president, on July 3.

Two of the defendants, Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammad Badie and financier Khairat el-Shater, are on trial for charges stemming from the June 30 clashes outside the Brotherhood’s headquarters, which resulted in nine fatalities.

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