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‘Bad weather’ delays re-opening of Morsi trial

A court cancelled a hearing in the trial of former President Mohamed Morsi Wednesday, postponing it to February 1, state-owned al-Ahram Gate reported.

The court hearing was postponed after the Ministry of Interior announced that, due to bad weather, it would not be possible to transport the former president to the Police Academy on the outskirts of Cairo, where the trial is being held.

Morsi was to have been transported by helicopter from Borg al-Arab prison, in Alexandria, where he is being detained.

Morsi is being tried, along with 14 other members of the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood, in connection with an attack on protesters by the former president’s supporters in front of the Ettehadiya Presidential Palace in December 2012, which resulted in at least seven deaths.

Morsi is accused of inciting murder, using violence, and detaining and torturing peaceful protestors.

Al-Ahram reports that Morsi’s fellow defendant, Essam al-Erian, who did appear in court Wednesday morning, said that Morsi had refused to appear in front of the court.

Erian said that the other defendants in the case had been forced to attend. He said that they refuse to appear “in order to not implicate the judiciary in a political conflict.”

Defendant Mohamed al-Beltagy, speaking in the court Wednesday, said the defendants had appeared in court under the threat of violence and that they consider the case to be illegitimate, according to a report by Al-Ahram.

An appeal session for activists Ahmed Douma, Ahmed Maher and Mohamed Adel was also scheduled to take place at the Police Academy on Wednesday. It was postponed due to the security situation at the site, in anticipation of the Morsi trial, Al-Ahram reported.

The activists were each sentenced to three years in prison and fined LE50,000 for breaking the new Protest Law. There were also charged with vandalism and assaulting security personnel. The three were arrested in connection with a solidarity protest that took place outside Abdeen court on November 30, as Maher turned himself in for another case.

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