Egypt ex-President arrives in court to go on trial over prison escape

Egypt ex-President arrives in court to go on trial over prison escape

PanARMENIAN.Net - Egypt's former Islamist President Mohammed Morsi has arrived at a court in Cairo on Tuesday, Jan 28, to go on trial over his escape from prison in 2011, according to BBC News.

He was taken to the court by helicopter from a prison in Alexandria, Mena news agency reports.

Morsi, Egypt's first freely-elected president, was deposed by the military in July 2013 after mass protests against his rule. He is now facing four separate criminal trials on various charges.

Tight security was in evidence around the Police Academy in Cairo where the trial was due to take place, with armored vehicles, police officers and military helicopters all visible, the BBC says.

Another 130 people are also facing charges in the trial, but many of the defendants are currently on the run.

Morsi stands accused of organizing a mass breakout from the Wadi al-Natrun prison during the 2011 uprising, as well as the murder of prison officers. He is due to appear in a sound-proofed glass box during the trial and will only be permitted to speak after raising his hand.

Security sources say these precautions have been taken to prevent any kind of disruption - at a previous hearing Morsi chanted slogans against the current government and the court.

When he first appeared in court in November in a separate trial, Morsi refused to recognize the court's legitimacy or put on the required prison uniform.

In that trial, he and 14 other figures from the Muslim Brotherhood face charges of inciting the killing of protesters in clashes outside the presidential palace in Dec 2012.

On Jan 19, it was reported that he and 24 others would also go on trial for insulting the judiciary. While in office, he had allegedly named a judge in a public speech and accused him of overseeing fraud in previous elections.

Also on Tuesday, the interior ministry said that a ministry official, named in local media as Gen Mohammed Saeed, was shot dead on his way to work.

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