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02 December 2023

Murder trial of Egypt's Morsi set to resume


The murder trial of deposed Egyptian leader Mohamed Morsi is due to resume in Cairo Saturday, after he insisted at a separate hearing that he was still the legitimate president.

His trial is seen as a test for Egypt's military-installed authorities, who have come under fire for a heavy-handed crackdown on his supporters after he was forced out by the army last July.

An coalition backing the deposed leader called for nationwide protests Saturday in a statement to "support the legitimate elected president."

Saturday's hearing at a heavily guarded police academy is the third session in the trial, in which Morsi and 14 others are accused of inciting the killing of opposition protesters in December 2012 outside the presidential palace.

The previous session of the trial had been adjourned over "weather conditions" that prevented Morsi's transport to court from prison.

Morsi is facing four separate trials, and at the first hearing of another trial on January 28 he insisted he was still the legitimate president of Egypt.

In that trial, Morsi and 130 other co-defendants face charges of breaking out of prison during the 2011 uprising that ended Hosni Mubarak three-decade rule.

Morsi, whose Muslim Brotherhood won a series of polls after Mubarak's ouster and who became Egypt's first freely elected leader in June 2012, was ousted a year later by the army after massive protests against him.

Amnesty International says that since Morsi's overthrow on July 3 at least 1,400 people have been killed in clashes with security forces and his opponents.

The Arab World's most populous nation prepares for a presidential vote to be held by mid-April.

The vote is expected to see Egypt's army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who ousted Morsi, run for the presidency.

Morsi also faces trials on charges of espionage in collaboration with the Palestinian Hamas movement, and insulting the judiciary. The spying trial will start on February 16, while no date has yet been set for the other trial.

Morsi's single year in power was marred by political turmoil, deadly clashes and a crippling economic crisis.