Morsi trial postponed, witness on a ‘secret mission’

The Cairo Criminal Court postponed the trial of former President Mohamed Morsi and 10 others to October 25 on Saturday because a witness was on a “secret mission” at the time.

The defendants are accused of spying for and releasing confidential state information to Qatar.

The prosecution requested that the trial be postponed because a key witness in the case, state security officer Tarek Mohamed Sabry, is on a “secret mission” until the end of October and cannot attend the trial, reported the privately owned Al-Masry Al-Youm.

The court decided to continue the imprisonment of those under trial and resume court sessions on October 25, reported Al-Arabeya.

The defendants are charged with “committing crimes to obtain defense secrets, the misappropriation of documents, hiding them and sharing them with a foreign country with the purpose of harming the country’s [Egypt’s] military, political, diplomatic and economic and national interests,” among other charges.

The case has been postponed multiple times and is the latest in a series of trials against Morsi.

Morsi was provisionally sentenced to death along with 15 Muslim Brotherhood members for espionage in collaboration with Qatar, Hamas and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps. The ruling was sent to the grand mufti for review in May 2015.  

The former president was also provisionally sentenced to death on charges assisting a mass prison escape from Wadi Natroun prison during the early days of the 2011 revolution. This ruling was also sent to the mufti in May 2015.

Morsi was additionally sentenced to 20 years in prison in April for ordering the arrest and torture of demonstrators outside the Presidential Palace in December 2012.

The former president’s death sentences were widely criticized by the international community, with Amnesty International calling Morsi’s trial a “charade,” arguing that “condemning Mohamed Morsi to death after more grossly unfair trials shows a complete disregard for human rights.”

Following mass protests against Morsi’s government on June 30, 2013, the Islamist president was ousted from power on July 3, 2013, by a military-backed interim government. 

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