Egypt ex-president Morsi tells trial: 'I am president'

Mohammed Morsi
Mohammed Morsi

Egypt's ousted leader Mohammed Morsi has gone on trial in Cairo, telling the judge the case is illegitimate as he remains president.

He and 14 other Muslim Brotherhood figures face charges of inciting the killing of protesters outside the presidential palace in 2012.

After Mr Morsi's remarks and his refusal to wear a uniform, the judge adjourned the trial until 8 January.

He was then flown to Burj al-Arab prison in Alexandria.


Security officials told the BBC Mr Morsi was transferred after registration to the prison hospital for a routine medical check.

He is awaiting a medical report which will determine whether he will be sent to a cell or kept at the hospital, they added.

Earlier reports had suggested that he would be taken to Tora prison on the outskirts of Cairo. Until now he had been held at a secret military location.

Protests took place outside the court and elsewhere in Cairo.

Mr Morsi was ousted by the military in July after protests against his rule.

Early on Monday Mr Morsi was brought into the sprawling Police Academy compound by helicopter. Other defendants, including Essam el-Erian, Mohammed al-Beltagi and Ahmed Abdel Aatie, were said to have arrived in armoured personnel carriers.

No television pictures were broadcast from the court although journalists were allowed in for the former president's first public appearance since he was deposed on 3 July.

As he entered the courtroom, Mr Morsi refused to remove his blue suit and put on the required white prison uniform. The defendants, who were being held in a cage in the courtroom, chanted "illegal, illegal".

When asked to give his name, the former president gave a defiant response, according to reporters inside the court.

"I am Dr Mohammed Morsi, the president of the republic. I am Egypt's legitimate president. You have no right to conduct a trial into presidential matters."

The judge twice temporarily halted proceedings before adjourning the case until January.

Before the trial began Mr el-Erian, a deputy leader of the Brotherhood's political wing, told the BBC that one of his fellow defendants had been mistreated with some kind of water torture and had been beaten until he was on the point of collapse.

Mr Morsi and the 14 other members of the Muslim Brotherhood had been widely expected to use the occasion to underline what they see as the illegitimacy of his removal from power.

Police had to step in at one point because of heckling in the court. The BBC's Orla Guerin says some of those attending the trial, including women journalists, shouted that the defendants should be given the death penalty.

The trial had been due to take place at Tora prison on the other side of Cairo but had been switched late on Sunday, apparently to deter protesters.

Shortly after Mr Morsi's arrival, a small crowd arrived and began chanting outside the police compound more than one hour's drive from the centre of the city.

The crowd soon grew and protesters were briefly seen on state TV chanting slogans against army chief Gen Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who led Mr Morsi's removal from power. Demonstrators shouted at a state TV crew and chanted "liars" before chasing them and pelting them with stones. (BBC)

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