Date set for Egypt's Morsi to go on trial

Egypt's deposed president Mohamed Morsi. (AP)

Egypt's deposed president Mohamed Morsi. (AP)

Egypt's deposed president Mohamed Morsi and 130 others including Hamas members will go on trial on January 28 over a jailbreak during the 2011 uprising, judicial sources said on Thursday.

The prosecution said last month that the defendants have also been accused of murdering police officers.

It said almost 70 of the defendants were members of Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas and Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah.

The trial will be the third announced for Morsi on various charges, amid a crackdown on his Islamist Muslim Brotherhood movement following his July ouster by the army.

Prosecutors claim that Brotherhood, Hamas, Hezbollah and jihadist militants attacked prisons and police stations during the first few days of the revolt against Hosni Mubarak, killing police officers and helping thousands to escape.

Several Hamas and Hezbollah prisoners escaped during the unrest.

Killings of opposition activists
At least two of the Hamas inmates, including militant leader Ayman Nofal, have been indicted, the prosecution sources have said.

Another escapee, a Hezbollah commander named Mohamed Mansur who was convicted in 2010 of plotting attacks in Egypt, has also been charged.

Also among the defendants are Brotherhood leaders who escaped from Wadi Natrun prison during the revolt, and prominent Qatar-based cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi.

Morsi is already on trial for allegedly inciting the killings of opposition activists during his one year in power.

He is also being tried separately for alleged espionage involving Hamas.

Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected president, was removed from power by the army following massive street protests against his rule.

Promoting the Brotherhood?
Last week his Muslim Brotherhood was designated a "terrorist" group by the authorities, which accused it of a bombing north of Cairo that killed 15 people. The group denied the accusation.

The designation carries harsh penalties for offenders, including possible death sentences for the movement's convicted leaders and five-year jail terms for protesters.

Promoting the Brotherhood either in writing or verbally can now also lead to prison sentences. – Sapa-AFP


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