News / Middle East

In Court, Egypt's Morsi Insists He Is Still President

Brief Morsi Court Appearance Ends in Shouting, Protesti
November 04, 2013 6:16 PM
The first brief session in the trial of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi was engulfed in shouting and protest. It adjourned abruptly Monday after defendants began chanting and Mr. Morsi declared he remains the legitimate president of Egypt. VOA's Elizabeth Arrott has more from Cairo.
Elizabeth Arrott
From president to prisoner.

Former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi made his first public appearance since his ouster in July - at a criminal court in Monday. 

But it was over almost as soon as it began.  Morsi's trial was adjourned shortly into the first session, after defendants began chanting in protest. Reports from inside the courtroom say Morsi, who was deposed by the military after popular protests, rejected the proceedings, telling judges he remained the nation's legitimate president.

Morsi and 14 members of his Muslim Brotherhood and former government face charges of inciting murder during protests against him last December.  If found guilty, he could face the death penalty.

The start of the trial was delayed because Morsi rejected wearing the traditional white jumpsuit of defendants. Security was on high alert after a last minute switch of venue to a police academy on the outskirts of Cairo, the same complex where Morsi's predecessor, the also-ousted Hosni Mubarak, was tried.

  • Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi protest Morsi's trial in front of the supreme constitutional court in Cairo, Egypt, Nov. 4, 2013.
  • A supporter of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi raises his poster during a protest in front of the supreme constitutional court in Cairo, Egypt, Nov. 4, 2013. The Arabic text reads, "no to the coup."
  • A riot policeman stands guard behind barbed wire outside of a police academy compound where the trial of ousted President Mohammed Morsi is being held, Cairo, Egypt.
  • This image made from undated video posted on the website of the el-Watan newspaper on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013, shows ousted President Mohammed Morsi during his detention at an undisclosed facility in Egypt following his ouster.
  • Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi raise their hands with four raised fingers, which has become a symbol of the Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque, where Morsi supporters held a sit-in for weeks that was violently dispersed in August, 2013.
  • Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi chase after journalists, who they claim to be pro-army, in an attempt to get them to leave the area outside the police academy, where Morsi's trial took place, Nov. 4, 2013.
  • A supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi stands next to a poster of Morsi during a protest outside the police academy, Nov. 4, 2013.
  • A supporter of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi cries while holding his poster and a "Rabaa" poster (R) outside the Egyptian High Court in Cairo, Nov. 4, 2013.
  • A supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi shouts slogans outside the police academy, where Morsi's trial took place, on the outskirts of Cairo, Nov. 4, 2013.
  • This image made from video broadcast on Egyptian State Television shows ousted President Mohammed Morsi speaking from inside a mesh cage as he stands with other defendants during a court hearing at a police academy compound in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Nov. 4
  • Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi pray outside the police academy, where Morsi's trial took place, on the outskirts of Cairo, Nov. 4, 2013.

The interior ministry has deployed 20,000 security forces to forestall more of the unrest that has seen more than 1000 people killed since Morsi's overthrow and authorities began a crackdown on his supporters and other Islamists.   

Members of the Anti-Coup Alliance took to the streets across the nation again Monday against what they see as a purely political trial, focusing on court buildings in Cairo and elsewhere.

Yet many Egyptians defend the moves against Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected president.  Political sociologist Said Sadek of the American University in Cairo argues the former president's brand of Islamist politics would have left the country in ruin.

"The whole world would have condemned the Egyptians: 'You saw your country was being destroyed.  Why didn't you take action? Why did you stand still and watch like zombies your country being destroyed?" Sadek questioned.

Many express faith the judiciary will act fairly, and that the trial represents a return to the promises of Egypt's revolution of 2011.

But where some see the expression of popular will, others see the re-emergence of Egypt's bedrock force.  

Professor Christian Donath of the American University in Cairo. "Even the most powerful can sort of fall from grace. But of course the question is how they fall from grace and who is putting these leaders on trial and I think, you know, a key player in this is the military," Donath said.

Donath said that is something Egypt will have to deal with, once again, for a long time to come.

State media say Morsi's trial is set to resume January 8.

You May Like

Guatemala Mudslide Death Toll Rises to 86

Death toll is expected to continue to rise as emergency crews dig through tons of earth for an estimated 350 people still missing More

Debris Found in Search for Missing Ship

Objects located Sunday have not yet been confirmed to be from the 240 meter container ship, El Faro, which disappeared in the eye of Hurricane Joaquin, according to US Coast Guard More

Survivor: Gunman Spared 'Lucky One' to Give Police Message

Law enforcement official says a manifesto of several pages was recovered; contents not revealed More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Prince from: India
November 05, 2013 6:36 AM
Ballots decided Mr.Morsi as Egypt's president. Even now a free and fair election will surely bring Mr.Mosi and Freedom & Justice Party back in power. Unelected Military & Military's Judiciary will not tell the will of Egyptian People. It will tell the will of Upper class whom benefited from the long Military rule against people's will.

by: wahab Oyedokun
November 05, 2013 5:21 AM
It is difficult to relate with people who cannot stick to principles. No to democracy if it will not bring drunkards and sexual perverts to power. Yes to military dictatorship if that is what it takes to shut Islamists or righteous people from power. Don't we have Christian Democrats in Europe. Are there parties not gaining power. It is easier to burn down one's house than to remove the prejudice in one's mind. Some people are dying of Islamophobia.

by: ali baba from: new york
November 05, 2013 3:21 AM
morsi is losing his mind. he was removed by massive protesters because he was a failure presidents. he let Isla mist thugs do whatever they wish. .including violent especially against women and Christian. He is an idiot who refuse to understand. he refuse to understand that Islam is not the solution. he refuse that Egyptian hate violent and they understand that he use religion as a tool to destroy the country. if he has a mind, he should accept the reality. he should step down without violence . He chooses violence and he has to get the consequence. let him stay in jail

by: PermReader
November 05, 2013 3:03 AM
So the American bipartisan broadcasting support the Islamists in Egypt by the false pretext of "defense of the democracy ".Show the crowds of anti-Islamists,please.

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
November 04, 2013 10:32 PM
I wonder if there was no way to elect a new president aviding by the current Egyptian constitution. If so, we can not help sayng there is no real democrasy even after Arab's spring in Egypt. Is it possible for the military to give birth such a reform of political system?

by: spek30 from: us
November 04, 2013 1:36 PM
Shame on the so called preachers of Democracy ... when you dont approve some policies you dont imprison them ... you beat them at Ballot ... but Egypt military is born to save Isroel and Amereka so they brought the legitimate president ousted is a mockery of west to give 1 year to a new president trying to undo decades of Dictatorial mess ... where are Human Rights Liars...
In Response

by: ali baba from: new york
November 05, 2013 3:32 AM
Muslim fanatic does not believe in democracy. Muslim believe of dictatorship .look and their behavior and you reach into conclusion that Muslim are liar when they said that they are looking for democracy .From all political events from the past .it is proof that Muslim are not educated enough to believe in democracy

by: Akeen nyanut from: Juba South Sudan
November 04, 2013 12:28 PM
Peace in egypt willnot be achieved when muslim brother hood union is still existing.
In Response

by: Rachid from: Cairo
November 05, 2013 8:09 AM
So u r racist. That s the new regim s view. 30 years of fascism and u wanna change in 1 year. Poor american democracy. Military coup is just a step to the darkness.
In Response

by: ali bba from: new york
November 05, 2013 3:24 AM
yes. Muslim brotherhood should be removed from all over the world including US and Europe

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
November 04, 2013 7:21 AM
This marks the difference who is pro-Egypt and who is selfish in their determination to hold Egypt to a stranglehold. Mubarak quickly yielded power understanding that Egypt belonged to him as well as it belonged to all of Egyptians and so did not say who was or was not legitimate to try him him an Egyptian court. But Morsi, islamist and pro-Muslim Brotherhood, wants the islamist agenda or no Egypt. This is the difference. But It is at the same time too premature to start court proceedings on recalcitrant pigs in the brotherhood, knowing how unyielding they can be.

Never has the path to democratization been smooth, but transitions start and fail until a good and final step arrives at an auspicious time. Perhaps Egypt's time will come as soon as Sissi agrees to take part in an election, be voted in as president -the ovation is good and high for him to win any election now - so he can hold the army at bay for a long period during which time all military installations capable of derailing democracy must be dismantled. Proving stubborn as Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood are doing at the moment can only prolong the transition, worsen relations among dissenting factions in the country and give dictatorship more rein.

I do not agree that Muslim Brotherhood wins all the elections in the country by free and fair means, instead they win by coercion and conscription. In fact the Muslim Brotherhood rule is worse than any military dictatorship. Egypt is too strategic in the world to be allowed to drift under a Muslim Brotherhood rule. If Mohamed Morsi will not answer to any court order, it is not new, he did same while in office making himself a potentate. Then he should be jailed for as long as he wishes to stay so till his trial is carried out and the transition restarts. Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood are the trouble in Egypt right now, as always. Once they are solved, Egypt will return to the part of gainful democratization.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs