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Defiant Morsi Rejects Trial, Insists He Remains President

Ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi has rejected the trial against against him, insisting that he is the country's "legitimate president."

Monday's opening trial session lasted only minutes, after a defiant Mr. Morsi and his co-defendants began chanting in protest, and a judge adjourned the proceedings until January 8.

The ousted president told the court it had no jurisdiction to try him, and that "coup" leaders should be tried instead.

Mr. Morsi rejected even basic portions of the trial, forcing the start to be delayed because he refused to dress in the traditional white jumpsuit worn by defendants.

His appearance Monday was the first time he was seen in public since the military pushed him from power in July.

Mr. Morsi and his 14 co-defendants are accused of inciting murder and violence during clashes outside the presidential palace last December. He could face the death penalty if found guilty.



Monday's session was held at the same Cairo police academy where another ousted leader, Hosni Mubarak, has faced prosecution.

Security was heavy outside the venue, where a crowd of Mr. Morsi's supporters gathered to protest the trial.



The trial raised concern of inflaming the tensions that have plagued the country since the army removed Mr. Morsi from power on July 3. That move followed protests by the opposition who accused him of trying to monopolize power and failing to fix the country's economy.

Since then, Egyptian authorities have cracked down on the Muslim Brotherhood, arresting much of the group's top leadership and clashing with those demonstrating against the interim government. More than 1,000 people, mostly Islamists, have been killed in the fighting.

The Islamist Muslim Brotherhood has continually demanded that Mr. Morsi be reinstated as president.

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