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Egypt military court to try Brotherhood supreme leader, 198 others over Suez violence

Defendants to appear in a second session on 23 February on charges of murder, attempted murder, weapons possession and arson

Ahram Online , Tuesday 17 Feb 2015
Mohamed Badie
Muslim Brotherhood's Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie listens to lawyers as he sits behind bars during his trial with ousted Egyptian President Mohamed morsi and other leaders of the brotherhood at a court in the police academy on the outskirts of Cairo (Photo: Reuters)
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An Egyptian military court is to hold the second session of a trial against Mohammed Badie, the supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, and 198 others over last year's violence in the Suez governorate on 23 February, state news agency MENA quoted a top judicial official as saying on Tuesday. 

The first court session for the case was held on 10 February.

Other defendants in the case include leading Brotherhood figures Mohamed El-Beltagy and Safwat Hegazi.

In the case, the military prosecution had charged the defendants with murdering 35 people, attempting to murder 11 others, disturbing the peace, possessing weapons and deliberately setting fire to public and private properties owned by Christian citizens in the governorate of Suez.

Armed forces have a strong presence in Suez, a city that hosts the southern terminus of the Suez Canal, an international waterway that connects the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea.

In August 2013, violence erupted nationwide, including in Suez, after the forceful dispersal of two main sit-ins supporting ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi on 14 August. Hundreds of his supporters were killed in the events.

Morsi was ousted on 3 July following three-day mass protests, after spending almost one year in office as the first elected civilian president after the 25 January 2011 uprising.

Morsi is currently also being tried in four cases, but all in civilian courts. His charges are espionage, escaping from prison during the country's 2011 uprising, inciting supporters to kill protesters opposed to his rule during his time in office, and leaking documents to Qatar.

In December 2013, Egypt's cabinet labelled the Muslim Brotherhood, from which Morsi hails, a terrorist organisation.

Since the summer of 2013, thousands of members and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood have been rounded up and are also currently facing trials.

 

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Mohamed Morsi and leading Muslim Brotherhood member Khairat El-Shater were among the defendants to be tried in a first session on 23 February.

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