News / Middle East

Uproar in Egyptian Court Halts Trial of Muslim Brotherhood Leaders

Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie shouts slogans from the defendant's cage during his trial with other leaders of Brotherhood in a courtroom in Cairo, Dec. 11, 2013.
Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie shouts slogans from the defendant's cage during his trial with other leaders of Brotherhood in a courtroom in Cairo, Dec. 11, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
— An Egyptian judge on Wednesday halted the trial of leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood after they shouted slogans and refused to cooperate with the court.

Judge Mustafa Salama said the case of the Brotherhood's General Guide Mohamed Badie and fellow defendants, who are charged with inciting the killing of protesters, would be transferred to the Cairo appeals court.

Badie earlier led his co-accused in chants against the army-backed government, shouting “Down, down with military rule” from the cage where defendants are held in Egypt.

They were arrested in a crackdown on the Islamist group after the army toppled Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July following mass protests against his rule.

It was the second time their trial had been halted. In October, a separate panel of judges withdrew from the case after a hearing which the defendants did not attend.

The charge against Badie, his deputy Khairat al-Shater, and senior Brotherhood members Saad Katatni and Mohamed El-Beltagi relates to an anti-Brotherhood protest near the group's Cairo headquarters on June 30 in which nine people were killed and 91 wounded.

Security forces have piled pressure on the Brotherhood, banned by a court in September, as authorities press ahead with a planned transition expected to yield presidential and parliamentary elections next year. The next step is a referendum on a new constitution, expected in mid-January.

A 50-member assembly finished the draft last week and handed it to interim President Adly Mansour, who will announce the date of the referendum in a speech on Saturday, his office said in an emailed statement.

“Egypt tasted the sweetness of freedom, dignity and pride after Morsi took the presidency after the January revolution and he will not abandon [the revolution],” Badie told the court, according to judicial sources. He referred to the revolt that led to the ouster of autocrat Hosni Mubarak in early 2011.

Relatives of the accused, who earlier chanted “the judiciary of the military” along with the defendants before Salama entered the courtroom, erupted in applause after the judge announced the case would be transferred.

Badie said earlier this week the Brotherhood had perpetrated no violence, as his trial in another case began at a police academy where Morsi appeared in court last month.

Police fired tear gas for the third day running on Wednesday at student supporters of the Brotherhood at Al-Azhar University, the scene of frequent anti-government demonstrations.

Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim told a news conference that security forces could “finish off” protests “in five minutes” but that he was trying to avoid injuries. He has presided over the security forces during the worst violence in Egypt's history following the army's ouster of Morsi.

Despite the crackdown, the Brotherhood has held near-daily demonstrations, undeterred even since security forces killed hundreds of protesters in August.

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