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Morsi trial adjourned after defence lawyer requests new judge

Judge Ahmed Abul-Fotouh recently breached Egyptian law by discussing the trial on state television

Ahram Online , Thursday 6 Mar 2014
Ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood stands inside his glass cage during his trial at a Cairo Police Academy on January 28(Photo: Egyptian State TV)
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The trial of ousted president Mohamed Morsi and 14 other senior Muslim Brotherhood leaders was adjourned on Thursday so the court can review a request for one of the judges to be replaced.

Mohamed El-Damaty, Essam El-Erian's lawyer, had demanded in the last session on Tuesday that one of the trial judges, Ahmed Abul-Fotouh, be replaced.

Abul-Fotouh recently appeared on state TV and gave a statement expressing his views on the case, a breach of Egyptian law which prohibits judges from discussing trials in public.

The court had previously refused this demand several times until Tuesday, when it decided to adjourn the trial in order to respond to the defence's demands. 

The defendants are accused of inciting the murder and torture of opposition protesters outside the presidential palace in December 2012.

Morsi and seven of his co-defendants were present at the court on Tuesday. The seven other defendants are being tried in absentia.

In a previous session, defence lawyers argued that there was no evidence of killing or attempted murder. They also demanded an investigation into the wire-tapping efforts used to gather evidence against the defendants.

At least ten people were killed in clashes outside the presidential palace, triggered by a decree issued by Morsi that elevated his decisions above judicial review.

Video footage of the deadly clashes – prepared by a technical committee from state TV – will be reviewed at the trial's next session.

Morsi, who was removed from power by the army in July 2013 amid nationwide protests against his year-long rule, also faces a number of other charges in separate trials, including espionage and breaking out of prison during the January 2011 uprising.



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