The trial of Egypt’s deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi was suspended shortly after it opened early Monday amid high tension across the country when the defendant shouted: “I am the president!” and his supporters disrupted the proceedings with chants. Demonstrators also rioted outside the courtroom set up at the Police Academy in eastern Cairo. The trial was adjourned to Jan. 8.
Morsi, who was ousted by the military four months ago, smuggled out a statement to Al Ahram, in which he declared he was still the legitimate president of the country and demanded that the court restore his authority instead of “covering the illegitimate military coup.”
Morsi was flown by helicopter to the courthouse and placed in a cage along with seven other accused. If he is found guilty of inciting to murder when he rallied his supporters last year, he is liable to the death sentence. The deposed president refused to appoint a lawyer in his defense, refusing to recognize the trial or any actions emanating from the coup.