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Trials Postponed for Top Egyptian Political Leaders

The supreme guide of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed Badie speaks during a news conference at the Brotherhood's main office in Cairo, Dec. 8, 2012.
The opening session of the trial of Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Mohamed Badie and two top associates has been adjourned until October 29 after security concerns prevented their attendance. The trial of former President Hosni Mubarak, released from detention several days ago, was postponed until September 14 to call more witnesses.

The opening session of the much awaited trial of the Muslim Brotherhood's top leader ended almost as quickly as it began. The presiding judge apologized for the trial's postponement, indicating that the interior ministry had deemed it unsafe for Mohamed Badie and two top associates to be brought to court.

Badie and other top Brotherhood figures were arrested last week in a security clampdown following bouts of violence across the country. Badie is being tried for the deaths of protesters outside of his group's headquarters in Cairo on June 30. More than half a dozen people were killed when the building was looted and burned.

The men are now being held in the Tura Prison, in a Cairo suburb. Leaders of Egypt's interim government have accused top Brotherhood leaders of inciting violence. Badie gave what some Egyptian newspapers called an “incendiary” speech at a protest camp of group supporters, shortly before violence erupted.

Brotherhood spokesmen have called the charges “politically motivated.” Some top Western leaders have also urged Egyptian officials to release the men. But rival political leaders accuse the men of unleashing a torrent of violence across the country and attacking army and police targets in the Sinai.

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (file photo)
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (file photo)
At Egypt's police academy, across town from the Badie trial, former President Hosni Mubarak and his two sons appeared at their long-running trial, before it too was postponed.

The judge indicated more evidence was needed in both of two pending court cases against Mubarak and his sons. He ordered police officials to bring evidence related to a case involving killings of demonstrators during unrest before the former president was toppled in February 2011. A life sentence against Mubarak was overturned earlier this year.

The court session was also the first since the former president was released from prison and placed under house arrest, Thursday.

Another case, involving the purchase of land in the Sinai was also postponed, pending further evidence. A third case involving gifts from the state-owned al Ahram newspaper was dismissed after Mubarak made paid restitution for several gifts.