Egypt's Morsi to appear in court in jailbreak trial

Ahram Online, Saturday 22 Feb 2014

After defence lawyer Selim El-Awa withdrew from Mohamed Morsi's espionage trial, it is unclear Saturday if Morsi will appear in the separate jailbreak trial with El-Awa or without

On Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014 photo, Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi stood inside a glassed-in defendant's cage during one of his court sessions, (Photo: AP).

Egypt's ousted president Mohamed Morsi is scheduled to appear Saturday in front of Cairo Criminal Court for the second session of the "jailbreak" case.

The charges are linked to the escape of inmates from Wadi El-Natroun prison during the early days of the 2011 popular revolt.

Prosecutors charged defendants with damaging and setting fire to prison buildings, murder, attempted murder, and looting prison weapons depots while allowing prisoners from the "Hamas movement, Lebanon's Hizbullah, jihadists, Brotherhood [members] and other criminals" to break out of jails.

Morsi and 130 co-defendants are accused of "carrying out a plot to bring down the Egyptian state and its institutions."

Prosecutors said over 800 fighters from Gaza had infiltrated Egypt, using RPGs and heavy armaments while storming three prisons, abducting four policemen and killing several other policemen and inmates.

Last week, the lawyer representing Morsi and 35 other Muslim Brotherhood figures in a separate case on espionage charges withdrew his defence team, prompting the court to appoint 10 new lawyers and postpone the trial until 23 February.

Defence lawyer Selim El-Awa said he objected to the soundproof glass boxes in which the ousted president and other defendants have been forced to remain during court proceedings after previously interrupting proceedings by chanting against the military.

It is unclear whether Al-Awa will withdraw from Saturday's trial.

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