News / Middle East

Ousted Egyptian President Defiant at Trial, General Assassinated

In this image taken from Egypt State TV, Mohammed Morsi stands inside a glass-encased metal cage in a courtroom in Cairo, Jan. 28. 2014.
In this image taken from Egypt State TV, Mohammed Morsi stands inside a glass-encased metal cage in a courtroom in Cairo, Jan. 28. 2014.
Edward Yeranian
Ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi protested defiantly from a soundproof glass and metal cage as he went on trial Tuesday in Cairo on charges connected with a mass jail break during the 2011 uprising against long-time autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

The court session comes as General Abdel Fatteh el-Sissi, the defense minister who toppled Morsi in July, got the army's blessing for a bid to replace him as president.

Video showed Morsi dressed in a white jumpsuit angrily shouting "Who are you? Tell me!" at the courtroom judge, who yelled back "I am the president of Egypt’s criminal court!"

The microphone in Morsi's cage was then turned off.

Mohamed Morsi faces trials in Egypt for:

  • Murder and other charges from his 2011 jailbreak
  • Inciting violence against anti-government protesters in 2012
  • Insulting the judiciary
  • Conspiring with foreign groups, including Hamas, to commit terrorist acts
The prosecutor read out the charges against Morsi and his co-defendants Tuesday, detailing the allegations of the wide-scale prison break during the January 2011 revolution. Defendants from the Palestinian Hamas group and Lebanon's Hezbollah were among those accused. 

Morsi supporters in the audience chanted briefly as the charges were announced, claiming that the trial was “illegal.” It was different from the many disruptions by defendants during the initial session last December. That session was stopped after the judges resigned.

The former president, making his second public appearance since his ouster, is being tried along with 130 people, including leaders of his Muslim Brotherhood.

Media reports say Morsi was flown by helicopter to the trial from his prison in Alexandria at an undisclosed time. Analysts say the government was worried attackers might try to blow up the helicopter transporting him.

Assassination

Firefighters attend the funeral service of General Mohamed Saeed, head of the technical office of the minister of interior, in Cairo, Egypt, Jan. 28, 2014.Firefighters attend the funeral service of General Mohamed Saeed, head of the technical office of the minister of interior, in Cairo, Egypt, Jan. 28, 2014.
x
Firefighters attend the funeral service of General Mohamed Saeed, head of the technical office of the minister of interior, in Cairo, Egypt, Jan. 28, 2014.
Firefighters attend the funeral service of General Mohamed Saeed, head of the technical office of the minister of interior, in Cairo, Egypt, Jan. 28, 2014.
Earlier Tuesday, assassins shot and killed a top interior ministry official, General Mohamed Sa'eed, outside his Cairo home, before the trial began. Militants also blew up a natural gas pipeline in the northern Sinai. A bomb placed near a Cairo court, however, was found and defused.

Said Sadek, who teaches political sociology, says that both the recent referendum to approve a new constitution and the probable candidacy of Defense Minister Abdel Fatteh el-Sissi appear to have dealt a damaging blow to the Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist allies.

"Now we are getting into a new game and a new legitimacy, new political rules, and so of course that depressed and demoralized the supporters of Morsi because they felt now the die is cast, there is nothing to be done,” he said.

Sadek adds that “frustration and disappointment” may lead many Morsi supporters to turn to violence, but he does not believe this will “change history.” He argues that the coalition which united on June 30 to oust Morsi is a strong core of Egyptian society which includes “the middle class, the upper class, businessmen, the so-called “deep state” and the military,” and it remains more versatile than the Muslim Brotherhood.

The next session of Morsi's trial has been pushed up to Feb. 22.

The former president's second trial for allegedly inciting violence against anti-government protesters in 2012 is due to resume Saturday, after being postponed twice since it opened in November.  

A third case focuses on charges that he insulted the judiciary and a fourth deals with charges of espionage in collaboration with Hamas. It was not immediately clear if a Feb. 14 trial date for the espionage charges of “conspiring with outside parties” will go ahead as scheduled.

Egypt's military removed Morsi from office last July, and authorities have spent months cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood, including arresting many of its leaders and declaring it a terrorist group.
 
Some information for this report comes from Reuters, AP.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festivali
X
April 24, 2015 4:09 AM
Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Keeping Washington Airspace Safe Is Tall Order

Being the home of all three branches of the U.S. federal government makes Washington, D.C. the prime target for those who want to make their messages and ideas heard. Unfortunately, many of them choose to deliver them in unorthodox ways, including from the air, as a recent incident clearly showed involving a gyrocopter landing on the Capitol’s West Lawn. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.

VOA Blogs