Mursi yells in court during Egypt prison break trial
Mursi was in a soundproof glass-encased metal cage, pacing and shouting angrily at the judge in apparent disbelief
Former Egyptian President Mohammad Mursi appeared in court on Tuesday on charges of breaking out of prison during the 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak.
Mursi wore the white prison uniform, unlike his first court appearance in November, in which he wore a suit. The Islamist leader was the country’s first elected civilian president before he was removed in a military-backed uprising in July.
Mursi was in a soundproof glass-encased metal cage, pacing and shouting angrily at the judge in apparent disbelief: "Who are you? Tell me!"
In a half hour of recorded footage aired on state television, Mursi protested being in a cage, yelling: "Do you know where I am?"
The former president also declared to the judges that he remains Egypt's legitimate leader during an unaired portion of the hearing, a state television reporter inside the courtroom said, according to the Associated Press.
In aired footage, defendants chanted that their trial was "invalid." Earlier, the defendants turned their back to the court to protest their prosecution, the state television journalist said.
Mursi raised his hands in the air and angrily questioned why he was in the court. Judge Shabaan el-Shami responded: "I am the head of Egypt's criminal court!"
Mursi paced in a metal cell separated from other defendants. Earlier, a promised live feed was cut, something a senior state television official told local media that security forces demanded
The state news agency reported that Mursi flew by helicopter from Borg al-Arab prison in Alexandria, while some 130 others who are on trial with him were driven to Cairo.
Previously, Mursi had been under investigation for the January 28, 2011 prison break along with members of the Brotherhood, during the nationwide revolt against Mubarak’s rule.
Amid a breakdown in law and order, riots had broken out in several prisons, and thousands of inmates escaped over several days with outside help.
Prosecutors say the prisons came under attack by elements from the Brotherhood, Hamas and Hezbollah to free Islamist inmates.
Several members of the Palestinian and Lebanese militant groups were imprisoned in Egyptian jails and escaped during the unrest.
A lawyer has said the trial appears to be aimed at “denigrating” Mursi and his Muslim Brotherhood group, according to the Associated Press.
Tuesday’s trial will be Mursi’s second court appearance since the military led his popularly-backed ouster on July 3.
Mursi will also be standing trial for “espionage” involving Hamas and is already on trial for allegedly inciting the killings of opposition activists during his one year in power.
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