News / Middle East

Morsi Trial to Resume as Egypt Protests Grow

Morsi Trial to Resume as Egypt Protests Growi
X
January 08, 2014
The trial of former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi is scheduled to resume Wednesday. Morsi was overthrown in a military coup last July and is accused of inciting the killing of anti-government protesters in 2012 along with other alleged crimes. But supporters from his Muslim Brotherhood movement insist Morsi is still Egypt’s legitimate leader. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
TEXT SIZE - +
Henry Ridgwell
— The trial is scheduled to resume Wednesday Egypt's democratically-elected President Mohamed Morsi, who was ousted in a military coup last July. Morsi is accused of inciting the killing of anti-government protesters in 2012, as well as other alleged crimes. But supporters from his Muslim Brotherhood movement insist Morsi is still Egypt’s legitimate leader.

Protests by supporters of Morsi have been building ahead of the resumption of his trial.

Demonstrations turned violent after Friday prayers last week and at least 17 protesters were killed.  At one point, Morsi’s supporters used a hijacked bus to try to break through police lines.

Alexandria and Cairo, EgyptAlexandria and Cairo, Egypt
x
Alexandria and Cairo, Egypt
Alexandria and Cairo, Egypt
The unrest is a deliberate ploy by the Muslim Brotherhood, says Professor Fawaz Gerges of the London School of Economics.

“The strategy of the Muslim Brotherhood is to make the situation as unstable as possible in order to really frustrate the military-led government’s effort to say ‘Look, we have stability, we have security,’" said Gerges. "But what you’re going to have is more instability, more insecurity, a low-level insurgency.”

In recent weeks there has been a series of bomb attacks on military and government targets.  The government blames the Muslim Brotherhood - and last month Deputy Prime Minister Hossam Eissa announced the organization would be outlawed as a terrorist group.

Eissa said the state and the people "will never succumb to the terrorism of the Muslim Brotherhood whose crimes have gone far beyond all moral, religious and human limits."

Mohamed Morsi is standing trial alongside 14 other members of the Muslim Brotherhood, charged in the killings of protesters outside his presidential palace in December 2012.

At his first court appearance last November, Morsi said he did not recognize the court’s authority and said he was Egypt’s legitimate president.

Fawaz Gerges says it is impossible for Morsi to get a fair trial.

He says, “Egypt has reached a point of no return. And there’s a real danger that the transition from authoritarianism to pluralism might really face some major challenges, given the exclusive political process that’s evolving in Egypt after the arrest and toppling of the Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi.”

In the months since the coup, human rights groups say the military-led government has committed crimes against humanity against Morsi supporters.

A team of international lawyers has lodged a formal complaint at the International Criminal Court. Among them is Maha Azzam, chair of the group Egyptians for Democracy UK.

“On a daily basis there are extraordinary abuses of human rights taking place against men, women and children, and I reiterate children. Egypt's government needs to be held accountable for those abuses,” said Azzam.

Mohamed Morsi is facing other legal charges from his time in office - including fraud, and conspiring with the Palestinian group Hamas and Lebanon's Hezbollah to commit terrorist acts.  He denies the accusations.

Morsi is also accused of conspiring with foreign militants, during the 2011 uprising against ex-president Hosni Mubarak, in a plot to free prisoners and spread chaos.  
That trial is scheduled to begin later this month.

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid