Middle East

Ousted Egypt leader Morsi to face third criminal trial

Supporters of former president Mohammed Morsi hold up a poster of him, 20th December Image copyright AP
Image caption Mr Morsi's supporters say the charges against him are politically motivated

Ousted Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi will face a third criminal trial, over his jail breakout in 2011.

He is accused of murder during the time he was freed from a Cairo prison at the start of the uprising against President Hosni Mubarak.

About 130 other people will face trial with Mr Morsi.

The former leader is already on trial for allegedly inciting the killings of opposition activists during his one year in power.

Earlier this week prosecutors said he would also stand trial for conspiring with foreign groups.

One of these groups is the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which has strong links to Mr Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement.

Hamas has denied any interference in internal Egyptian politics.

Mass escape

The latest charges against Mr Morsi relate to a mass breakout from a Cairo jail in January 2011.

Prosecutors claim that members of the Muslim Brotherhood attacked prisons and police stations during the first few days of the revolt against Mr Mubarak.

Thousands of inmates escaped - including Mr Morsi - and several policemen were killed.

Mr Morsi will face trial for their murder, together with co-defendants from the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Hezbollah.

The prominent Qatar-based cleric Yousef al-Qaradawi is also one of the suspects.

Mr Morsi was deposed by the military in July 2013, after millions of people rallied across the country demanding his resignation.

Since then, more than 1,000 people have been killed in street clashes with police, and thousands of Brotherhood members have been detained.

His supporters say the charges against him are politically motivated, something the military-backed government denies.

The supporters continue near daily protests demanding his reinstatement.

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