Egypt to begin mass trial of Morsi backers

2014-03-22 14:05
Mohammed Morsi (AFP

Mohammed Morsi (AFP

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Cairo - More than 1 200 supporters of Egypt's ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi face charges Saturday in the country's biggest trial since an August police crackdown, judicial sources said.

The mass trial is part of a crackdown by Egypt's military-installed authorities targeting Morsi's Islamist supporters who remain steadfast in demanding his reinstatement.

Morsi, Egypt's first elected and civilian president, was removed by the army last July. His ouster triggered widespread unrest across a deeply polarised country.

Among the defendants in Saturday's trial, to be held in Minya south of Cairo, will be the supreme guide of Morsi's now-banned Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammed Badie, the sources said.

Some websites close to the Brotherhood reported that the trial would be held in six separate courts in Minya over six days, with some defendants expected to be tried in absentia.

The alleged attacks on individuals and public property are said to have taken place in southern Egypt in August, after security forces broke up two Cairo protest camps set up by Morsi supporters.

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The defendants are also charged with committing acts of violence that led to the deaths of two policemen in Minya, the sources said.

Hundreds of people died in the 14 August assault on the two Cairo protest camps and in subsequent clashes that day.

Amnesty International says at least 1 400 people have been killed in clashes and in violence since then across Egypt, while thousands more have been arrested.

Morsi, who was deposed on 3 July, is himself currently on trial in three different cases, including one for inciting the killing of protesters outside a presidential palace during his presidency.

Morsi was removed from power after just one year in office following mass street protests against his rule amid allegations of power grabbing and worsening an already weak economy.
Read more on:    mohammed morsi  |  egypt  |  north africa  |  egypt crisis
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