Egypt puts Brotherhood leader on trial, students protest

Egypt puts Brotherhood leader on trial, students protest
# 09 December 2013 18:14 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. The Muslim Brotherhood's leader turned on his accusers on Monday when he appeared in court for the first time since he was arrested following the army's overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi, APA reports quoting Reuters.

"Why aren't you investigating the killing of my son, and the burning of my house and the group's offices?" Mohamed Badie asked of the judge, referring to his 38-year-old son killed in August, when the crackdown on the group was at its bloodiest.

Violence erupted again on Monday when police fired teargas at Mursi supporters protesting at Al-Azhar University, scene of frequent demonstrations against the army-backed government.

The protesters set ablaze three police vehicles, a witness said, and 58 students were arrested, an official said.

Badie, the Brotherhood's general guide, said the Islamist movement had perpetrated no violence, as his trial began at a police academy where Mursi went on trial last month. They were his first public remarks since his arrest on August 20.

He faces charges that include inciting violence during a Brotherhood sit-in at Cairo University in mid-July.

The security forces have piled pressure on the Brotherhood, Egypt's best organized party, as the army-backed authorities advance a transition plan expected to yield presidential and parliamentary elections next year. The next step is a referendum on a new constitution, expected late this month or in January.

Since Mursi's fall, the government has verbally equated the Brotherhood with al Qaeda, accusing both of terrorism. The Brotherhood formally renounced violence decades ago.

Most Brotherhood leaders have been arrested since the army deposed Mursi on July 3 after mass protests against his rule. Mursi is accused of inciting the killing of protesters outside the presidential palace a year ago. His trial began on November 4.

Badie appeared with Islamist politicians including Essam el-Erian and Mohamed el-Beltagi who are charged in the same case.

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