Mursi's Trial Adjourned until Feb. 1

News ID: 243714 Service: World
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TEHRAN (Tasnim) - The trial of Egypt's former president on charges of inciting murder was adjourned on Wednesday until next month, after bad weather prevented a helicopter flight from bringing Mohammed Mursi to court.

The helicopter, which was to fly Mursi from a prison near the Mediterranean city of Alexandria to the court in eastern Cairo, could not take off because of fog, security officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to media.

Judge Ahmed Sabry Youssef adjourned the proceedings until Feb. 1.

Mursi and 14 other Muslim Brotherhood members face charges of inciting the killing of protesters outside a Cairo presidential palace in December 2012 — when he was still in office and when at least 10 people were killed and hundreds wounded. Wednesday's hearing was to be Mursi's second appearance in court since his ouster in a popularly-backed coup on July 3.

Seven of Mursi's co-defendants are being tried in the case in absentia, while the rest are being held at a Cairo jail.

It's one of three trials that Mursi faces. Charges in the other two cases have to do with Mursi's jailbreak in 2011 — during an uprising that ousted his predecessor, autocrat Hosni Mubarak — and allegations that he conspired with militant groups. Charges in all three carry the death penalty, AP reported.

Since Mursi's ouster, his Brotherhood has been waging a campaign of street protests to demand his reinstatement. The military-backed government has meanwhile cracked down on the Brotherhood, arresting thousands, including the group's top and mid-level leaders. In August, security forces cleared two pro-Mursi sit-in camps in Cairo, killing hundreds.

Wednesday's adjournment came less than a week before Egyptians are scheduled to start voting in a nationwide referendum on a new constitution.

Defense lawyers claimed Wednesday's adjournment was linked to the Jan. 14-15 referendum on the new constitution and that the judge's decision was politically motivated.

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