Morsi Blasts Court as His Trial Adjourns

Deposed leader seen for first time since coup

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Nov 4, 2013 2:33 AM CST | Updated Nov 4, 2013 7:16 AM CST

(Newser) – Mohamed Morsi blasted a court as having no jurisdiction and twice declared that he is Egypt's president in the first day of his trial—which was quickly adjourned until Jan. 8. The BBC describes a highly charged scene: Morsi was flown in from a secret location via helicopter, marking his first public appearance since his July 3 ouster. Once there, he refused to trade his blue suit for a white prison uniform. He was then asked to give his name, and reportedly had this to say:

  • "I am Dr. Mohammed Morsi, the president of the republic. I am Egypt's legitimate president. I refuse to be tried by this court."

Proceedings were halted after this statement, and the case was subsequently adjourned to allow his attorneys time to go over documents. Morsi (along with 14 co-defendants, senior Brotherhood members) faces charges of incitement of violence and murder, and could face the death penalty if convicted. The trial comes amid a highly charged atmosphere in a bitterly polarized nation, with a deepening schism between Morsi's Islamist supporters on one hand and Egypt's security establishment and the nation's moderate Muslims, secularists, Christians, and women on the other. GlobalPost has a good primer on why the trial is so significant, with Louisa Loveluck noting, "it is still vital that Egypt provide some sort of legal basis for the decision to remove Morsi from office." More here.

A supporter of Mohamed Morsi makes the "Rabaa" sign, which has become a symbol of the Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque, where Morsi supporters held a sit-in for weeks.   (AP Photo/Manu Brabo)
This image made from Egyptian State Television shows Mohamed Morsi speaking inside a mesh cage at a court hearing in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Nov. 4, 2013.   (AP Photo/Egyptian State Television via AP video)
This image from Egyptian State Television shows Mohamed Morsi in a van as he arrives for a court hearing in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Nov. 4, 2013.   (AP Photo/Egyptian State Television via AP video)
This image from Egyptian State Television shows Mohamed Morsi arriving for a court hearing in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Nov. 4, 2013.   (AP Photo/Egyptian State Television via AP video)
A riot policeman stands guard behind barbed wire outside the trial venue.   (AP Photo/Manu Brabo)
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, seen here at a July press conference, has been held at a secret military location since the July coup.   (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo, File)
This image posted on the website of el-Watan newspaper on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013, shows President Mohamed Morsi at an undisclosed facility in Egypt.   (AP Photo/el-Watan Newspaper via AP video)
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