Morsi's Ittihadiya trial adjourned to April 5

CAIRO – An Egyptian court on Sunday adjourned until April 5 the trial of ousted president Mohamed Morsi and 14 others on charges of inciting the killing of demonstrators outside the presidential palace in late 2012.

In the four-hour session, the defense lawyers demanded the inclusion of eight members of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood group, also killed during the clashes outside the presidential Ittihadiya Palace, into the case.

The lawyers also accused the leaders of the National Salvation Front, which spearheaded the opposition against Morsi during his one year of rule, of being involved in inciting the killing of the slain Brotherhood members during the violence.

When the judges played footage of the 2012 clashes between Morsi's opponents and his supporters outside the presidential palace, the defendants, who appeared in a soundproof glass cage, turned their backs.

The footage, however, showed one of the defendants, namely Alaa Hamza, interrogating one of Morsi's captured opponents following the clashes.

Other footage showed Nader Bakar of the Salafist Nour Party saying that his party had refused a request by deputy leader of the Muslim Brotherhood Khairat al-Shater to take part in the dispersal of a sit-in staged outside the presidential palace by Morsi's opponents.

Morsi and his 14 co-defendants – seven of whom are being tried in absentia – are charged with inciting the murder of opposition demonstrators during the clashes between pro- and anti-Morsi protesters.

While a total of 11 people – including eight Morsi supporters – were killed in the violence, the trial only addresses the death of one reporter and two anti-Morsi protesters.

The trial resumed after an Egyptian court earlier this month turned down a request for the recusal of the presiding judges in the case.

The recusal request was filed by a lawyer for Muslim Brotherhood leader Essam al-Erian, who is also a trial defendant.

Al-Erian complained that one of the judges, Ahmed Suleiman, had made a television appearance last month in which he had already "issued his ruling in the case." 

The judge's television appearance violated the law and obliges the presiding judges to recuse themselves, defense lawyers said in a statement.

But the appeals court said that al-Erian had already attended seven court sessions at which he had made all his demands clear, rejecting his request for new judges and fining him $1430.

Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected leader, was ousted by the military last July – after only one year in office – following protests against presidency.

He currently faces four different trials for multiple charges, including espionage, jailbreak and "offending the judiciary."

Morsi, along with all of his co-defendants, insists that the charges against him are politically motivated.

Copyright © 2014 Anadolu Agency