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Morsi addresses court for first time, claims he is still Egypt's president

Mohamed Morsi said he was innocent of espionage charges and described his ouster as a coup

Ahram Online , Sunday 18 Jan 2015
Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi stands inside a glassed-in defendant's cage during his trial on charges related to the prison breaks at the height of the 18-day 2011 uprising against his predecessor Hosni Mubarak, Jan. 28, 2014 (AP Photo)
Views: 3076
Views: 3076

Former president Mohamed Morsi defended himself in court on Sunday for the first time since his ouster, claiming he was innocent of charges of espionage and asserting that he was still Egypt’s president.

"I am still the legitimate president of the country, who came (to power) through fair elections," he stated to the Cairo Criminal Court.

Morsi, who was ousted in July 2013, took the opportunity to reiterate the argument frequently repeated by his allies, describing his deposal as a "coup d'état.”

Morsi was removed after mass protests nationwide against his rule. He was immediately detained, initially in a secret location, and subsequently charged with a variety of crimes including espionage and inciting murder.

Speaking for two hours at his trial for espionage, Morsi recalled the moment when he was arrested by the head of the presidential guard, Mohamed Zaki.

"I told him, 'Are you crazy? You take your orders from me,’ " said the former president.

Morsi and 35 others are on trial on charges of collaborating with foreign organisations – namely Gaza rulers Hamas, an ideological offshoot of the Brotherhood – to commit acts of terrorism in Egypt.

Morsi denied the charges, stressing that a fact-finding report that was issued during his presidency in 2012 upon his request showed that a "sovereign entity" affiliated with "the coup leader" was involved in the Battle of the Camel, a name given to deadly clashes that took place during the 18-day uprising.

He said that, according to the testimonies of workers at hotels overlooking Tahrir Square, where the clashes took place, those who were on the roofs had identification cards belonging to that entity.

Egypt's incumbent president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi was head of military intelligence at the time.

Morsi also refused to acknowledge the authority of the court trying him. "You are not my judges and this is not my trial," he said. He did however express respect for the judiciary in his remarks.

Morsi claimed that one reason why he was ousted was that the Islamist-majority parliament and the government led by Kamal El-Ganzouri, a prominent Mubarak-era figure, were at loggerheads.

"El-Ganzouri once told [Parliamentary speaker Saad] El-Katatni… 'an appeal lodged in the drawer of the constitutional court would dissolve it (Parliament)," he said.

The parliament's lower house was dissolved in 2012 due to a court verdict of unconstitutionality in the electoral process which formed it. The upper house was dissolved in 2013 as part of the roadmap which replaced Morsi's rule.

The court adjourned the case to 21 January.

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M.N Mohamed-Sri Lanka
19-01-2015 01:59pm
Great Egyptians can Change world,
Am not an Egyptian but we consider Egypt as Un democratic country,It is very, very unfortunate that Egyptian Rulers decide by outsiders , Egypt is Great country which developed Mathematics and Science ,Great Egyptians can Change the world,Please Open a dialog between Islamist and Secularists.Don't hate each Other.Love and care is real Development.
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George Ghattas, Beirut
18-01-2015 10:01pm
He is still the legal President of Egypt.
Tens of millions of Egyptians still consider him as their president. And the Sissi gang fears him immensely although he is in jail. His popularity explains the adamant refusal of the Sissi junta to organize honest elections in Egypt. They know, the Israelis know and the CIA knows the Islamists would win again and again and again. I know many idiots hate to hear the truth, But Muhammed Mursi is the still the legitimate President of Egypt.
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18-01-2015 11:57pm
Shut up!
Only the Egyptian people decides who is it' s President and who is not. You have m

18-01-2015 09:46pm
Morsi and the Brotherhood should never rise again!
Morsi and the Islamic Brotherhood are nothing more than murderers that have mislead the Egyptian people into jihad, intolerance and segregation, the Islamic Brotherhood rule in Egypt has nearly paralysed Egypt into a country that started to cleanse all religions with segregation, murders and everything that is happening in the most extreme terrorist areas of Islam in the Middle East eg Islamic State, Hama and Hezbollah of Sunni against Shiite murdering Christians, Jews and whoever didn’t fit into their religious and ideological agenda. Morsi and the Islamic Brotherhood re a danger to Egypt not only as a free democratically elected leader (as he claims but as its doubted by many) but as an extreme ideology that should never ever be let to uprise now or into the future in a country where cultural civilization and freedom of religion really began thousands of years ago.
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18-01-2015 09:37pm
Another Delusional Ahmadinejad
The problem with Morsi is not that he was taking the country in the wrong direction, the serious problem is that he was a “tool” in the hands of extremist religious Mullahs in the region; executing their venomous agenda at the expense of Egypt. The only reason he won the previous election is because moderate voices were so fragmented with no leadership, and the extremist Brotherhood filled the vacuum. Just like Ahmadinejad of Iran, he thought, and still believes that he is the president!
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Aly Sadek - Toronto-Canada
18-01-2015 09:11pm
Egypt...EL SISI
.. He needs badly a mental Behavioral Therapy.....IT'S DIAGNOSED AS THE EL-SHATER BROZER-HOOD VIRUS.
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18-01-2015 08:58pm
No surprises here.
As we have seen time and again. his feeble brotherhood terrorist supporters post one delusional claim after another. No surprises that this guy actually thinks he a president. Yes Morsi you are the president of your cage... not much more outside the cage though. Just a brotherhood convict.
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