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Morsi to Face Trial Over Mass Jail Break

FILE - A Nov. 2013 image made from video provided by Egypt's Interior Ministry shows ousted president Mohammed Morsi (R) in a defendant's cage during a trial hearing in Cairo.
Egypt's former Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi, will face trial on January 28 over a mass jail break in 2011, one of three cases against him since he was ousted by the army in July, judicial sources said.

Since Morsi was deposed, security forces have launched a wide crackdown against his Muslim Brotherhood group, arresting thousands over accusations of inciting violence and designating the group a terrorist organization last month.

Morsi has also been charged in connection with the killing of protesters and collaborating with Islamist Hamas group and Hezbollah to carry out a terrorist conspiracy against Egypt.

He could face the death penalty over such charges.

Morsi, along with other leaders of the Brotherhood, escaped from prison on January 28, 2011, after being rounded up with other Brotherhood leaders during the 18-day uprising that toppled then-president Hosni Mubarak.

The first session of Morsi’s trial is due on the anniversary of that jail break.

Morsi won the first post-Mubarak presidential elections in 2012 and ruled Egypt for almost a year before mass protests against his rule prompted the army to overthrow him and appoint an interim government in July.

The Brotherhood, once Egypt's best-organized political and religious movement that won five consecutive elections after Mubarak's downfall in 2011, denies any links to violence and accuses the army of staging a military coup.

Hundreds of pro-Morsi supporters who have demanded his reinstatement have been killed when security forces stormed their protest camps in August. Thousands of others have been rounded up by security forces over accusations of violence.

Around 350 police and soldiers have been killed in bombings and shootings since Morsi was deposed.