Second judging panel withdraws from Brotherhood trial

Ahram Online, Wednesday 11 Dec 2013

Judges step down from trial of Muslim Brotherhood leaders which has been plagued by interruptions

Muslim Brotherhood leaders trial
Muslim Brotherhood lawmaker Saad el-Katatni, right, leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Mohammed Badie, center, and Mahmoud Abu Zaid, senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood, left, gesture during an appearance at a courtroom in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013 (Photo: AP)

A second panel of judges has withdrawn from the trial of Muslim Brotherhood leaders accused of inciting the killing of protesters.

The defendants refused to recognise the court, dubbed it "void" and "illegitimate," and chanted "down with the military rule."

The judges said they were unable to conduct the trial properly.

Nineteen defendants are accused of inciting the murder of nine protesters who stormed the Brotherhood's Cairo headquarters on 30 June.

They include Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohammed Badie, his two deputies Khairat El-Shater and Rashad Bayoumi, Mohamed El-Beltagy and former speaker of parliament Mohamed Saad El-Katatni.

The first judging panel withdrew in October after the defendants failed to turn up at court for three consecutive sessions for security reasons.

The interim authorities have cracked down on Islamists since the ouster of Mohammed Morsi in July, detaining thousands of members.

Former president Mohamed Morsi is currently on trial for inciting supporters to kill political opponents during clashes in front of the presidential palace in December 2012.

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