CAIRO -- Deposed Islamist President Mohamed Morsi was back in court again Saturday, on trial for inciting murder.
Morsi, who has been jailed since an army-led coup against him on July 3, faces four separate court proceedings on a number of charges. Several of them carry the death penalty.
This case began in November and was adjourned to Jan. 8 after a brief, chaotic hearing during which Morsi and his co-defendants shouted down the judge. The Jan. 8 session was held without the ex-president present; authorities said bad weather had prevented a helicopter flight from his high-security prison.
During a session of a separate trial Tuesday, on charges of orchestrating a prison break, Morsi was confined to a soundproofed glassed-in cage, able to hear the proceedings but to speak only when a microphone was activated. State television showed clips of him shouting ineffectually inside the cage.
In the case being heard Saturday, Morsi was on trial with 14 co-defendants. They are accused in the deaths of protesters outside the presidential palace in December 2012, when Morsi was president.
In the six months that the military-backed interim government has been in power, Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood has been designated a terrorist organization and authorities have carried out a sweeping crackdown against the group. More than 1,000 of Morsi’s followers have been killed in clashes with security forces, and nearly all senior members of the Brotherhood are in jail, in hiding or in exile.
Pro-Morsi protesters continue to take to the streets on a regular basis, even though police tend to crack down quickly on any gathering. One person was killed and more than two dozen were injured in protests Friday. More than 60 people, most of them supporters of Morsi, were killed in clashes Jan. 25.
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