News / Middle East

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

    Brief Morsi Court Appearance Ends in Shouting, Protesti
    X
    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

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    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 ...it 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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.