The anticipated first trial of Egyptian ousted president Mohamed Morsi on Monday has prompted calls for mass protests, along with tight security measures, testing Egypt’s ability to move forward with its ‘roadmap to democracy.’
Morsi, who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood, along with 14 other group members, are due in court Monday on charges of incitement to murder and violence in the December 2012 Ittihadiya presidential palace clashes, which pitched Morsi opponents against his supporters.
Pro-Morsi protesters are accused of attacking and violently dispersing an anti-Morsi sit-in in front of the Ittihadiya palace on the morning of 4 December 2012.
Throughout the afternoon and into the following morning, pro- and anti-Morsi protesters clashed, resulting in the death of at least nine people, including four members of the Brotherhood and four anti-Brotherhood protesters.
In addition, hundreds were injured, including a number of anti-Morsi protesters who were filmed being tortured at the gates of the presidential palace by Brotherhood members. During the clashes, Brotherhood leaders called for popular mobilisation to protect what they saw as an attack against the elected president.
Monday’s trial will be held at the Police Academy, on the outskirts of Cairo, in the same venue that staged the trial of Morsi’s predecessor Hosni Mubarak.
If found guilty, Morsi and his co-defendants could face lifetime imprisonment or the death penalty.
Tensions are running high across Egypt on the eve of Morsi’s trial, which is expected to heighten conflict between the Muslim Brotherhood and the interim authorities, who have cracked down on Islamists since Morsi’s ouster on 3 July.
Judicial sources told Ahram Online that some journalists and civil rights lawyers will not be admitted to the courtroom. Those allowed to witness the trial will not be allowed to take their cell phones, cameras or recording devices inside. The trial will also not be televised.
Morsi supporters called for mass protests in the week leading up to the trial, as well as rallies on the day in front of the Police Academy. see more
source: ahram online