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Defiant Mursi tells Egypt court ‘I’m still president’ as trial adjourned


Egypt

Defiant Mursi tells Egypt court ‘I’m still president’ as trial adjourned

Mohamed Mursi has told an Egyptian court that he is still the country’s president, as his trial was put back until January 8 amid chaotic scenes.

Proceedings in Cairo were first delayed after the deposed leader refused to wear a white prison uniform, instead wearing a dark suit.

As they got underway Mursi interrupted the session repeatedly, chanting “down with military rule”.

He also gave the Muslim Brotherhood hand gesture to express his disgust at a raid in August on a protest camp by security forces, who shot dead more than 200 people there at the height of their action against the Islamists.

Amid the noise and disruption the judge announced the trial’s adjournment.

State TV broadcast footage of Mursi in court, the first time he has been seen publicly since he was ousted from power in July.

The former president and 14 other Brotherhood members are charged with inciting the killing of protesters outside the presidential palace as opposition to Mursi’s rule spread.

Heavy security outside the court and across the country is a reminder of the military crackdown earlier this year which saw hundreds of Mursi supporters killed and thousands more arrested.

Mursi replaced Hosni Mubarak as Egyptian president following a democratic election, but over the course of his 13 months in office he fell into conflict with a number of key institutions.

As discontent spread, the army stepped in and removed him from power in July.

Now banned, the Muslim Brotherhood has vowed to keep up street protests.

After the adjournment, state TV said Mursi was flown to a jail in the northern city of Alexandria.

Western allies have been dismayed by the military establishment’s return to the forefront of power in Cairo, prompting Washington to cut some military aid and call for free, transparent trials for all Egyptians.

The uprising that toppled Mubarak in 2011 had raised hopes that Egypt would embrace democracy and human rights and eventually enjoy economic prosperity.

Instead, the power struggle between the Brotherhood and the army-backed government has created more uncertainty.

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Mursi tells Egypt court 'I'm still president' as trial adjourned