Morsi in glass cage, shouting "I’m Egypt's president"

Morsi in glass cage, shouting
Tue Jan 28, 2014 16:16:59

Egypt's toppled President Mohammed Morsi protested his new trial from inside a glass-encased metal cage, declaring to the judges he remained Egypt's legitimate leader, state television has reported.

Morsi and others faced the start of their trial over charges related to 2011 prison breaks on the third anniversary of one of the most violent days of Egypt's revolution that year. Morsi supporters, meanwhile, clashed with police in central Cairo as gunmen killed an aide to the country's interior minister.

State television aired recorded video of Morsi in a white jumpsuit, pacing in a metal cell separated from other defendants. Earlier, the feed was cut, something a senior state television official told local media that security forces demanded.

In the footage, Morsi raised his hands in the air and angrily questioned why he was in the court.

"Tell me who are you!" Morsi shouted, jumping inside the cage. "Do you know where I am?"

Earlier, at an unaired portion of the hearing, defendants turned their back to the court, a form of protest of their prosecution, a state television journalist described on air.

Authorities apparently resorted to the glass-encased cage to muffle the defendants' outbursts, which have disrupted the prosecution at another hearing. The judge controls the microphone to the cage.

Morsi has been held since the military removed him from office in July 3, following millions protesting against his government. He already faces three other trials on various charges, some of them carrying the death sentences.

Tuesday's case is rooted in the 2011 escape of more than 20,000 inmates from Egyptian prisons - including Morsi and other Muslim Brotherhood members, during the early days of the 18-day uprising against ousted President Hosni Mubarak.

In court Tuesday, 19 other defendants appeared with Morsi. Another 110 defendants, including members of the Palestinian Hamas movement, are being tried in absentia.

Authorities have said the jailbreaks were part of an organized effort to destabilize the country. Rights groups have called for an independent investigation into the chaotic events, saying they hold the police responsible for the pandemonium. A Brotherhood lawyer has said the trial appears aimed at "denigrating" Morsi and the Brotherhood.


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