Skip to main content

Ousted Egyptian leader Mohamed Morsy denounces trial

By Schams Elwazer. Reza Sayah and Holly Yan, CNN
updated 4:32 PM EST, Tue January 28, 2014
  • NEW: Mohamed Morsy demands to know where he is, who's in charge at hearing in Cairo
  • Morsy allegedly broke out of a prison in 2011, before he became president
  • He became president in 2012 but was deposed in a military coup one year later
  • Elsewhere in Cairo, an interior ministry aide is shot and killed

(CNN) -- Former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy, appearing before a Cairo court Tuesday to face charges related to a 2011 jailbreak, denounced the process as unfair and unjust.

Speaking from inside a soundproof glass enclosure, Morsy demanded to know where he was and who was in charge. His lawyers explained to the judge that he was angry because he had not been allowed to see his lawyers or family.

Nineteen Muslim Brotherhood members, including Morsy, allegedly broke out of the prison in 2011, state-run EGYNews reported.

At the time, the Muslim Brotherhood was banned in the country. But the Islamist group became Egypt's most powerful political force after longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak was toppled in February 2011.

Clashes erupt at Egypt protests

Morsy and dozens of co-defendants are accused of collaborating with the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas and the Lebanese Shia group Hezbollah to escape from the Wadi-Natroun prison, the state-owned Ahram Online news agency said.

The defendants are also accused of attempting to murder police officers, Ahram Online said.

Egypt's military OKs Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi for presidential run

'I am not assured' of judge's fairness

The judge, who controlled the sound, allowed Morsy to address the court in the afternoon.

Morsy said he had not been allowed to see his lawyers since November. But he had been visited repeatedly by "investigative judges" whom he warned about taking part in what he sees as a farce.

"It's not enough for the judge to be fair, but for the subject to be assured of the judge's fairness, and I am not assured," he said.

The other Muslim Brotherhood defendants were placed in a separate enclosure and held up a four-finger salute to show solidarity with the group.

The judge adjourned the hearing until February 22.

The trial is one of several that Morsy is facing. He has also been charged with raiding other prisons, killing soldiers and officers in Rafah, and incitement to murder in connection with protests against his rule in 2012.

A short tenure

Morsy became Egypt's first democratically elected president in 2012 after the fall of Mubarak, who had ruled Egypt for 29 years.

But just one year later, Morsy was deposed in a military coup. The U.S. State Department called for the military to release him, saying his detention was politically motivated.

Opponents accused Morsy of pursuing an Islamist agenda and excluding other factions from the government.

But supporters said that he wasn't given a fair chance and that the military has returned to the authoritarian practices of Mubarak.

Egyptian official killed

Morsy's trial wasn't the only significant news out of Egypt on Tuesday.

A senior aide to Egypt's interior minister was killed in the Giza area of Cairo, a presidential spokesman said.

Gen. Mohammed Said was shot and killed near the Pyramids, spokesman Ehab Badaway said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

Last September, the interior minister himself was targeted in an assassination attempt.

Egypt's Interior Ministry oversees the country's police force, which has led a fierce and sometimes deadly crackdown against protesters over the past several months.

Journalist Sarah Sirgany and CNN's Yousuf Basil contributed to this report.

Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:26 PM EDT, Mon March 24, 2014
An Egyptian court sentences at least 528 supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood to death on charges related to violent riots in the southern Egyptian city of Minya.
updated 12:41 PM EDT, Mon March 24, 2014
Interim Egyptian President Adly Mansour sends letter to the family of jailed Al Jazeera journalist Mohamed Fahmy.
updated 12:30 PM EDT, Sun March 9, 2014
CNN's Sara Sidner talks about stepping in for Al Jazeera reporters since they have been barred from working in Egypt.
updated 7:34 AM EDT, Sat March 15, 2014
How are the Arab Spring nations faring? What successes can they boast -- on democracy, economic progress, stability and women's rights -- and what challenges await?
updated 6:57 PM EST, Tue March 4, 2014
A Cairo court has banned all activities by Hamas in Egypt, calling the Palestinian movement that runs Gaza a terrorist organization.
updated 4:14 PM EST, Sat February 22, 2014
Lawyers representing Muslim Brotherhood members in a jailbreak case call for the judges to be changed.
updated 5:05 AM EST, Thu February 20, 2014
Three Al Jazeera journalists face terrorism charges after being arrested in December. CNN's Sara Sidner reports.
updated 12:52 PM EST, Sun February 9, 2014
CNN's Christiane Amanpour son the Egyptian government's actions towards journalists.
updated 11:09 PM EST, Mon February 17, 2014
At least four people died and 14 were wounded by a blast on a tourist bus in the resort town of Taba, authorities say.
updated 11:10 AM EST, Sun February 16, 2014
Mohamed Morsy taunts officials who placed him in a soundproof glass box during his trial on conspiracy charges.
updated 8:01 AM EST, Tue February 11, 2014
An Oscar-nominated film portrays a revolution squeezed into its margins,but that's where it started, writes H.A. Hellyer.
updated 3:18 AM EST, Wed January 22, 2014
"Democracy" is meaningless unless the right people are entrusted with implementing it, says Aalam Wassef.
updated 4:30 PM EST, Thu February 6, 2014
Egypt's military quashes a newspaper report that quoted Abdel-Fatah El-Sisi as saying he would run for president.
updated 3:02 AM EST, Sun January 26, 2014
Muslim Brotherhood supporters (background) clash with supporters of the Egyptian government in Cairo on January 25, 2014.
At least 49 people died in violence on the third anniversary of the January 25 revolution, state media says.
updated 5:04 PM EST, Sat January 18, 2014
Voters have overwhelmingly approved a new constitution, a spokesman for Egypt's electoral commission says.
updated 8:08 PM EST, Tue January 14, 2014
Egyptians vote for the first time since the military ousted Morsy. CNN's Ian Lee reports.
updated 8:11 PM EST, Tue January 14, 2014
A study suggests Egyptians are far more likely to support military rule than people in many other Mideast countries.
updated 3:54 PM EST, Tue January 14, 2014
CNN's Becky Anderson speaks to Amre Moussa about what went into the creation of Egypt's constitutional draft.
updated 1:12 PM EST, Tue January 14, 2014
Egyptians have high hopes that the referendum will put an end to the bloodshed, but will Egypt be back where it was at the start of the revolution?
updated 10:57 AM EST, Mon January 13, 2014
International correspondents demand Egypt release three journalists they say have been detained arbitrarily for two weeks.