Decision to ground Morsi's flight was not made in advance: Minister

Ahram Online , Thursday 9 Jan 2014

'I did not approve the plane takeoff so I would be accused of causing a plane crash,' said the minister of interior defending his decision to not transfer ousted Morsi from Alexandria to his trial in Cairo

File photo: President Mohammed Morsi, right, speaking from the defendant's cage as he stands with co-defendants in a makeshift courtroom, Nov. 4, 2013 (Photo: AP)

Egyptian Minister of interior Mohamed Ibrahim admitted that the decision not to transfer ousted president Mohamed Morsi from his detention at Burg Al Arab prison to the court at Police academy in Cairo caused confusion and controversy.

"We did not make this decision in advance, otherwise why would I deploy security forces and keep the officers awake all night long to prepare for the trial and to transfer other defendants in the trial from prison to court room?" said the minister in a press conference Thursday afternoon at the Cabinet HQ after the cabinet's meeting.

A Cairo criminal court trying Morsi and 14 others on inciting murder and violence against protesters in December 2012 adjourned Wednesday the trial of ousted president Morsi because he did not attend after waiting for three hours.

Ibrahim said that the pilot of the helicopter which was set to transfer Morsi to court refused to fly because of fog conditions.

"The head of Alexandria security directorate and the head of the prisons authority told me that the flight of ousted president Morsi was delayed because of the fog," the minister said.

"I did not approve the plane takeoff so I would not be accused of a plane crash," Ibrahim said.

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