Egypt mass trial of Islamists opens, adjourns

CAIRO- A court in Egypt adjourned the mass trial of more than 1,200 supporters of deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi after a brief hearing on Saturday, state media reported.
The country's biggest trial since the army removed Morsi last July after a turbulent single year in office was adjourned until Monday.

About 500 defendants faced charges at a court in Minya, south of Cairo, with the trial of the remainder due to begin on Tuesday, state news agency MENA reported.
The legal proceedings are part of a crackdown by the military-installed authorities on Morsi's Islamist supporters who remain steadfast in demanding his reinstatement.
Egypt's first elected and civilian president was ousted by the army on July 3 in a move that triggered widespread unrest across a deeply polarised nation.
The defendants are accused of attacking both people and public property in southern Egypt in August, after security forces broke up two Cairo protest camps set up by Morsi supporters.
They are also charged with committing acts of violence that led to the deaths of two policemen in Minya, judicial sources said.
Monday's session is set to further examine charges against those defendants who attended Saturday's hearing.
The court session was closed to the media, so it was unclear how many of the accused appeared in person.
Earlier, the judicial sources said around 200 of the defendants are in detention, while others are either out on bail or on the run.
Among the defendants are the supreme guide of the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammed Badie, and several other leaders of the movement, MENA reported.
Hundreds of people died in the August 14 assault on the two Cairo protest camps and in subsequent clashes that day.
Amnesty International says at least 1,400 people have been killed in violence across Egypt since then, while thousands more have been arrested.
Morsi is himself currently on trial in three different cases, including one for inciting the killing of protesters outside a presidential palace during his presidency.
Morsi was removed after just 12 months as president following mass street protests against his rule amid allegations of power grabbing and worsening an already weak economy.

Sunday, March 23rd 2014

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