Morsi to stand trial Jan 28 over Egypt jailbreak

Mohamed-MorsiCairo, Jan 2 : Egypt's ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi will go on trial Jan 28 over charges of a 2011 prison break, media reported Thursday.

Morsi will stand trial along with more than 130 other Muslim Brotherhood members, members of the Palestinian militant group Hamas, and Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah for storming the Wady al-Natroun prison.

They will be tried for kidnapping, and killing police officers during the 2011 uprising that toppled his predecessor Honsi Mubarak, Xinhua reported.

The trial will be the third announced for the Islamist leader, as he faces additional charges related to inciting violence and murdering protesters outside the presidential palace in early December 2012.

He will be tried also over espionage charges along with Brotherhood chief Mohamed Badei and Badei's two deputies Khairat al-Shater and Mahmoud Ezzat, former parliament speaker Saad al-Katatni and others.

These top Islamist leaders were accused of spying and revealing classified military information to foreign bodies including Hamas as well as financing terrorism.

The military-installed government designated the Brotherhood as a "terrorist group" after a blast in the Nile Delta's city of Mansoura killed 16 people last week.

The decision, which might bring harsh penalties, stoked the anger of Islamists across the country, particularly in universities which witnessed almost daily protests against the army and the interim government.

The Egyptian law on terrorists stipulates five years' term for participants in protests organised by "a terrorist group". The perpetrators' punishment may go up to execution, hard labour or life imprisonment "if terrorism is one of the means used to achieve or carry out the purposes of the group".

Thousands of Muslim Brotherhood members and top leaders, including Morsi himself, were detained over inciting violence and murder since the army toppled the Islamist leader in July announcing a roadmap to be implemented in autumn with the presidential and the parliamentary elections. (IANS)