Cairo court to decide fate of judge in Morsi murder trial 6 March

El-Sayed Gamal El-Deen, Tuesday 4 Mar 2014

Court will respond to demands from Morsi's defence team to remove a sitting judge who appeared on state TV to speak about the trial

In this Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014 photo, 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 (Photo:AP)

The trial of ousted president Mohamed Morsi and 14 other leading members of the Muslim Brotherhood on incitement charges has been adjourned to 6 March to give the court time to accommodate demands from the Brotherhood's defense team.

Mohamed El-Damaty, the defending lawyer for leading Brotherhood member Essam El-Erian, has demanded that one of the trial's sitting judges, Ahmed Abou El-Fotouh, be replaced.

Abou El-Foutoh 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. 

Morsi, his presidential aides and other senior Brotherhood leaders are accused of inciting the murder and torture of opposition protesters outside the presidential palace in December 2012.

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 10 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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