Morsi's 'jail break' trial adjourned

Ahram Online, Tuesday 15 Apr 2014

Judge orders a medical committee to examine Muslim Broterhood leader Essam El-Erian and for prosecutors to visit the jail where the defendants are being detained

Mohammed Morsi
Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi in a soundproof barred glass cage is seen on a monitor set up outside a courtroom where Morsi and 35 others are facing charges of conspiring with foreign groups and undermining national security, in Cairo, Egypt. (Photo: Reuters)

Cairo's Criminal Court has adjourned the trial of ousted president Mohamed Morsi on charges of breaking out of jail during the 2011 uprising.

The trial was postponed to 23 April to allow for the formation of a technical committee to look into CDs containing evidence concerning the case, according to Al-Ahram's Arabic news website.

During Tuesday's session, the judge ordered that a medical committee be formed to diagnose a defendant, Muslim Brotherhood leader Essam El-Erian, and provide him with needed medication.

The judge also commissioned the public prosecution to visit the defendants' place of detention to hear their complaints and observe how they are being treated by the police.

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

The charges are linked to the escape of inmates, including some senior Brotherhood figures such as Morsi, from Wadi El-Natroun prison during the early days of the January 2011 revolution.

Prosecutors have charged the defendants with damaging and setting fire to prison buildings, murder, attempted murder and looting prison weapon depots while helping prisoners from Gaza's Hamas and Lebanon's Hezbollah along with jihadists, Brotherhood [members] and other criminals to break out of jails.

Prosecutors said over 800 fighters from Gaza infiltrated Egypt during the 2011 uprising and used RPGs and heavy armaments to storm three prisons, abduct four policemen and kill several other policemen and inmates.

Hamas has condemned the accusations as being absurd and politicised.

Morsi, who was removed from power by the army in July 2013 amid nationwide protests against his year-long rule, also faces a number of other charges in separate trials, including espionage and inciting the murder and torture of opposition protesters outside the presidential palace in December 2012. 

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