Aswat Masriya (Cairo)

17 August 2014

Egypt: Media Gag Lifted Against Mursi Espionage Trial

Cairo — The Cairo Criminal Court postponed on Sunday the trial of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi and 35 other defendants accused of espionage to September 14.

The court also lifted on Sunday its gag order against media reporting on the trial. The order was issued in April for security reasons.

Defence lawyer Mohamed Damaty said the trial's coming sessions will be public and media coverage will be allowed.

Mursi and the other defendants are charged with espionage, disclosing state secrets to foreign countries, funding terrorism, conducting military training to serve an international branch of the Brotherhood, and "endangering the independence, unity and safety of the state."

Other defendants in the trial include Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie, his deputies Khairat al-Shater and Mahmoud Ezzat, as well as other group leaders and former presidential advisors. Sixteen defendants are being tried in absentia.

The former president, ousted since July 2013, is implicated in a group of other court cases. He is being tried for inciting the killing of protesters outside the presidential palace during his tenure in December 2012, insulting the judiciary, and escaping from the Wadi al-Natroun Prison during the 18-day 25 January uprising in 2011.

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