Egypt court sets 21 April for verdict in Morsi murder trial

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Thursday 8 Jan 2015

The Ittihadiya palace trial will conclude in April, with Mohamed Morsi eligible for the death penalty if convicted

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)

Cairo Criminal Court has set 21 April as the date for the final verdict in one of the trials of deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in which he faces murder charges, a judicial source said Thursday.

Morsi, along with 14 other members of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, faces charges of inciting the killing of protesters outside the Ittihadiya presidential palace in December 2012, when he was still in office.

At least 10 people were killed and dozens injured in protests triggered by a presidential decree that expanded Morsi's powers and put his decisions beyond judicial review.

The court at the Police Academy on the outskirts of Cairo refused Thursday a request by Morsi's defence lawyer, Ahmed Sabry, to allow his client to address the court to give his defence argument.

It said the defendant does not acknowledge the court and hence cannot defend himself, the source added.

Since his trial began in late 2013, Morsi has refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the court, with his Brotherhood group often calling his trials a "farce"

In his first court appearance in November 2013, Morsi shouted at the judge from inside his cage, declaring he was still Egypt's president

The former Islamist leader, who was overthrown in July 2013, is entangled in two other court cases over charges including espionage and breaking out of prison.

Morsi could face the death penalty if convicted.

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