Egypt court postpones Morsi espionage trial to April 28

CAIRO – An Egyptian court on Tuesday postponed the trial of ousted president Mohamed Morsi and 35 others charged with espionage to April 28, while also ordering a media blackout on upcoming trial sessions.

At the next session, the court will begin reviewing testimonies and evidence said to be recorded on CDs.

At Tuesday's session, Morsi's defense team objected when the judge assigned Osama al-Sheikh – who served as head of state television under ousted president Hosni Mubarak – to help review film footage presented as evidence by the prosecution.

The court also documented a number of bruises on the bodies of two co-defendants who said they had been beaten up while in custody.

The defense team also requested that the court merge the espionage trial with a second trial in which Morsi and 131 co-defendants are accused of breaking out of jail in 2011.

Morsi and 21 co-defendants attended Tuesday's court session, a judicial source told Anadolu Agency, while the rest are being tried in absentia.

Trial proceedings were temporarily suspended earlier this year to consider requests by the defense for the recusal of the presiding judges. On March 9, however, the court turned down the request.

Trial defendants face charges of "conspiring" with Palestinian group Hamas and Lebanon's Hezbollah to carry out "terrorist acts" inside Egypt.

Morsi and his co-defendants emphatically deny the charges against them, which they describe as politically driven.

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 incitement to murder, jailbreak and offending the judiciary.

Copyright © 2014 Anadolu Agency