Ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi appeared on trial in a Cairo court Monday, his first public appearance since he was deposed by the military on July 3. Morsi continued to insist in court that he is the only legitimate leader of Egypt.
"This is a military coup whose leaders must be put on trial in accordance with the constitution," Morsi said in the courtroom, the Associated Press reports. "I am the president of the republic and I am here against my will ... What is happening here is providing cover for the military coup.”
Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected leader in 5,000 years of history, is charged with murder and inciting violence against protesters during his presidency. During the trial, Morsi and his 14 Muslim Brotherhood co-defendants began chanting loudly, “Down with military coup.” Their chanting grew so loud that the judge was forced to suspend proceedings for some time.
Soon after proceedings resumed, the judge adjourned the remainder of the trial until Jan. 8 to allow Morsi’s lawters more time to review newly revealed legal documents.
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood have refused to acknowledge the current Egyptian authorities and insisted that Morsi’s trial is invalid.
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"No lawyers will be defending President Mohamed Morsi, neither Egyptians nor foreigners, because the president does not recognize the trial or any of the actions and processes that resulted from the coup, such as the politicization of the judiciary, involving it in the political struggle so it becomes a means of repression and terror used by the coup regime against opponents, " the Muslim Brotherhood said in a pre-trial statement last week.
Monday’s trial was Morsi’s first public appearance in months. Since the coup, he has been kept in a secret location guarded by the military. Morsi was flown in by helicopter to the court. Though he was ordered to don a prison uniform at the trial, Morsi refused, instead appearing in a dark blue suit without a tie.