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Mohamed Morsi remains defiant in first statement

Ousted Egyptian leader still refusing to appoint defence lawyer, says 'coup leaders' committed treason

Ahram Online, Wednesday 13 Nov 2013
Lawyers
Defense team of deposed president Mohamed Morsi reads out a message by the former leader where affirms he remain the legal president of Egypt, 13 November (Photo: Randa Ali)
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Former president Mohamed Morsi has described events since his ouster for the first time via a written statement.

"I now have a chance to explain what happened between 30 June and now. What happened was clearly a coup on all levels," Morsi wrote in a statement read by Mohamed El-Damaty at the Amal Party headquarters on Wednesday.

El-Damaty and other member of his co-defendants' defence team met with Morsi for over two hours on Tuesday.

Morsi and 14 other Islamist leaders are on trial for inciting violence against demonstrators in the December 2012 Ittihadiya presidential palace clashes.

"What happened is a crime and treason," Morsi said. "Treason to God and his prophet, and a breach of the oath sworn by Defence Minister [Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi] who pushed the army into politics ... It is also treason to the nation because it has divided the people."

He added: "Egypt will not regain its stability until the coup is overturned and those responsible for the bloodshed are held accountable."

Morsi said he was detained at the Republican Guard headquarters on 2 July – the day after he rejected a 48-hour ultimatum by the army to engage in dialogue with opposition groups – and held until 5 July, when he was transferred to a naval base.

At the naval base he met EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and an African Union delegation. He refused to answer "unconstitutional" questions by four investigators.

He denied meeting military officials or media personnel since his removal.

The defence team that met Morsi on Tuesday comprised of Mohamed Selim El-Awa, Mohamed Tosson, Mohamed El-Damaty, Osama El-Helw and Osama Mohamed Morsi.

El-Damaty said the meeting took place because Morsi is involved in the same trial as the defence team's clients, not for "political reasons."

Morsi reiterated his claim to be the country's legitimate president during the meeting, El-Damaty added.

During the opening trial session on 4 November, Morsi refused to recognise the court's authority and said he was still the country's true president.

Morsi is being detained at Borg Al-Arab Prison in a remote desert area near Alexandria, Egypt's second largest city, after his trial was adjourned to 8 January.

He was ousted from the presidency on 3 July.

On 11 November, a Cairo appeal court extended his detention for a further 30 days on separate charges of escaping from jail and espionage during the 2011 uprising.

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