Morsi trial adjourned until February 23

The trial of Egypt's former president was adjourned until February 23 as his lawyers walk out of court

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CAIRO // Lawyers for Mohammed Morsi, Egypt’s former president, and his co-defendants walked out of court yesterday to protest against soundproof glass cage in which defendants are held during proceedings.

Judge Shaaban El Shamy ordered a recess after the lawyers left the hearing, state television reported, the first in a case in which Mr

Morsi and 35 others are facing charges of conspiring with foreign groups and undermining national security.

Mr El Shamy, who later ordered the trial adjourned until Sunday, was quoted by CBC as telling the lawyers the trial would proceed without them.

It also reported that Mr Morsi shouted at the start of the trial

that he could not hear the proceedings.

Mr El Shamy sent technicians to inspect the cage to verify his claim, CBC said.

The judge then ordered the volume raised for Mr Morsi. However, the defence lawyers remained unsatisfied and walked out.

The cage was introduced after Mr Morsi and his co-defendants interrupted the proceedings of other court cases by talking over the judge and chanting slogans.

The cage is fitted to give the judge sole control over whether the defendants can be heard when speaking.

Mr Morsi was ousted by the military following protests by millions of Egyptians demanding his removal after just one year in


He, and leaders of his Muslim Brotherhood, now face several trials on a range of charges, some of which carry the death penalty.

The charges involved in yesterday’s trial accuse the Brotherhood of being enmeshed with terrorists since 2005 in deals aimed at winning and holding on to power, of plotting the collapse of police and prison breaks during the 2011 uprising that forced former president Hosni Mubarak from power, and of organising the Sinai militant backlash.

“The biggest case of conspiracy in Egypt’s history goes to the criminal court,” proclaimed the title of a public prosecution announcement in December.

After his removal, Mr Morsi spent four months in a secret military detention facility before he appeared in court to face charges of incitement to murder in November.

In the latest trial, his co-defendants include the top leader of the Brotherhood, Mohammed Badie, and Mr Badie’s two powerful deputies, Khairat El Shater and Mahmoud Ezzat.

Mr Ezzat and about 17 of the defendants in the case are on the run and are being tried in their


They include members of the Gaza-based Palestinian militant group Hamas.

* Associated Pres