Egypt’s Morsi faces fresh trial for ‘insulting judiciary’

Cairo: Ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and 25 others, including liberal activists and journalists, will be tried for “insulting the judiciary”, the fourth case slapped on the Islamist leader.

Attorney General Hisham Barakat has referred Morsi and 25 others to a criminal court for ‘insulting the judiciary’, state media reported today.

These are the fourth set of charges against Morsi, who was ousted by the army in July.

The 62-year-old leader is facing separate trials for a prison break and murder of police officers during the 2011 uprising, inciting murder of protesters at the presidential palace in 2012 and for espionage and conspiring with foreign groups to commit terror acts.

The group of 25 accused of insulting the judiciary is a varied mix of Muslim Brotherhood and Islamist leaders, political activists, journalists, television personalities and even a poet, Ahram Online reported.

The Brotherhood and Islamist figures and leaders include ex-head of Egyptian Parliament Mohamed Saad El-Katatni, General Guide for the Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed Mahdi Akef and former Al-Shura Council member Gamal Gebril.

Political activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah has also been included in the group.

The prominent leftist already faces charges of violating a contentious protest law passed at the end of last year, as well a suspended sentence of one year for allegedly torching former presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq’s electoral headquarters.

Morsi’s trial on charges of inciting murder was adjourned on January 8 to February 1 as he could not reach the court due to bad weather.

Morsi is due to appear in court on January 28 over the mass jail break in 2011.

The news of the fourth trial comes after the Supreme Electoral Committee (SEC) yesterday announced that the newly drafted national charter was approved by 98.1 per cent of voters in a referendum billed as a popular endorsement of Morsi’s ouster.

The new charter would replace the one approved under Morsi, who was toppled by the military in July following mass protests demanding his ouster.

Morsi, who was Egypt’s first democratically elected president, is being held in jail in Alexandria, facing several criminal charges relating to his time in office. He says they are politically motivated.

More than 1,000 people have died in violence since Morsi’s overthrow.