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Judge in Brotherhood Trial Withdraws, Case Indefinitely Adjourned

Army soldiers take positions as Al-Azhar University student members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, shout slogans against the military and Interior Ministry during a march towards the Rabaa al-Adawiya square in Cairo, Oct.28, 2013.
The trial of three senior Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leaders on charges of inciting violence was halted on Tuesday after the judge said the court felt “unease” over the case.

Judge Mohamed Amin Fahmi al-Qarmouty announced the decision at the start of the session and referred the case to another court.

The case againt Mohamed Badie, General Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, and his deputies Khairat al-Shater and Rashad Bayoumy is part of a campaign against the Islamist movement waged by the authorities since the army overthrew President Mohamed Morsi on July 3.

Hundreds of Morsi supporters have been killed, at least 2,000 arrested, including Morsi, and a court order has banned the movement.

The three defendants are charged with incitement to violence in connection with an anti-Brotherhood protest near the group's Cairo headquarters on June 30 in which nine people were killed and 91 wounded.

Hundreds of thousands of Egytians had taken to the streets at that time in protests against Morsi's rule.

“The court decided... to withdraw from looking at the cases because it feels unease,” Qarmouty said.

He did not elaborate.

None of the three accused, who are being held in detention, were present in court on Tuesday. The judge said the prosecution should ask the Interior Minister to ensure they would be able to attend the next session.

Morsi, who was Egypt's first freely-elected president and came to power following the uprising that toppled strongman Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, himself is due to appear in court on Monday also on charges of inciting violence.

The new government has promised to hold elections next year. The United States slashed its aid to the Egyptian military pending progress on democracy and human rights.