Egypt’s Mursi urges ‘revolution’ from caged dock

Supporters of ousted Egyptian president Mohammad Mursi hold his poster and a "Rabaa" sign outside the Egyptian High Court (File photo: Reuters)

The trial against deposed Egyptian President Mohammad Mursi was adjourned on Saturday until Feb. 24 by a Cairo court.

Mursi urged his supporters to press on with their “peaceful revolution,” during his trial on charges related to jailbreaks and attacks on police.

“The revolution of the people won't stop -- continue your peaceful revolution,” he said from the dock on Saturday.

The former leader, along with 130 other defendants, are being tried for organizing jailbreaks and attacking police stations during the revolt.

Mursi, who was Egypt’s first freely elected president, is accused of inciting the killing of anti-government protesters outside the presidential palace in 2012. Mursi will also face separate trials on charges of espionage and colluding with militants to carry out attacks in Egypt.

If found guilty, Mursi could face life imprisonment or the death penalty.

During his first court appearance last November, Mursi said he did not recognize the court’s authority and that he was Egypt’s legitimate president.

“You have no right to try me because I am your president,” Mursi reportedly told the judge presiding the case, according to Egyptian state TV.

Mursi was toppled by the military in July last year following mass protests demanding his resignation. Since then he and his Muslim Brotherhood have been retroactively accused of committing much of the violence during the anti-Mubarak uprising.

The commencement of the trial coincided with the acquittal of six policemen charged in connection to the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising against then president Husni Mubarak.

The men were originally charged with their connection in the deaths of over 83 demonstrators in an Alexandria protest. Charges included incitement of murder.

Included in the acquitted policemen was former head of security and riot police in the northern Mediterranean city.

Prosecutors of the case claimed that commanders had armed policemen with live ammunition. The policemen’s lawyers denied the officers' responsibility in the killings.

The defendants shouted "long live justice" on hearing the verdict.

Rights groups say that courts have failed to hold the police accountable for the 840 deaths that occurred over the 18-day uprising, most of which happened on Jan. 28.

More than a dozen policemen have been put on trial, including top commanders. Most have been acquitted.

Earlier this month, another court overturned the conviction of a policeman sentenced to five years on charges of killing 18 protesters.

Legal experts say that given the chaos of the uprising, it is nearly impossible to prove individual blame for any specific death.

 

(With AP and AFP)

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:42 - GMT 06:42
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