Egypt’s Morsi back on trial, police general shot dead

CAIRO: Former president Mohamed Morsi went on trial Tuesday on charges of breaking out of prison, a day after Egypt’s military endorsed the army chief who deposed him as a presidential candidate.

With tensions linked to the trial running high, gunmen shot dead a police general as he left his home in a west Cairo neighbourhood, the latest in a wave of attacks on security officials.

Morsi, ousted by the army in July, is already on trial for inciting the killings of opposition activists during his presidency and faces two other trials that have yet to begin.

State television showed Morsi, dressed in a white prison uniform, in the dock along with 21 other defendants, among then the supreme guide of his now-banned Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie.

He is being tried with 130 others, including dozens of members of the Brotherhood, the Islamist Palestinian movement Hamas and Lebanon’s Shiite militant group Hezbollah.

The rest of the defendants are being tried in absentia.

The trial is being held under tight security in a makeshift courtroom inside a police academy on the outskirts of Cairo.

Morsi also faces charges of espionage involving Hamas, with that trial due to open on February 16, and for insulting the judiciary, for which a date has yet to be set.

The Islamist leader was deposed following massive popular protests against his one-year rule.[More]