Egypt unrest: Fourth trial called for Mohammed Morsi

The ousted president of Egypt (in dark jacket), Mohammed Morsi, in court for a hearing, 4 November 2013

The ousted president of Egypt, Mohammed Morsi, faces a fourth trial, on charges of insulting the judiciary.

The Islamist leader and 24 other politicians, media personalities, activists and lawyers will be tried on the new charges, judicial sources said.

Mr Morsi was removed from power in July and his Muslim Brotherhood declared a terrorist organisation.

His first trial to date was adjourned earlier this month.

Correspondents say the new trial is a sign that the military have no intention of easing their crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood.

The move followed a referendum in which 98% of voters approved a new constitution, according to electoral officials.

The vote was seen as a vote on the legitimacy of the military's removal of Mr Morsi.

Turnout was less than 40% amid a boycott by Morsi supporters, who dismissed it as a "farce".

A constitutional referendum held in 2012 while Mohammed Morsi was in power saw a turnout of 33%, with 64% of voters approving the document.

Four cases

The new trial dates back to Mr Morsi's time in office, when he named a judge in a public speech and accused him of overseeing fraud in previous elections, the Associated Press reports.

Mohammed Morsi's trials

  • For organising prison breaks during the 2011 uprising
  • For the killing of protesters outside a presidential palace in 2012
  • For conspiring with foreign militant groups to destabilise Egypt
  • For insulting a judge

On 11 January, he had been due to appear in court in Cairo over the killing of protesters outside a presidential palace in 2012.

But proceedings were adjourned after bad weather reportedly stopped his helicopter from taking off from Alexandria, where is in prison.

At the opening of the trial on 4 November, he had insisted he was still Egypt's legitimate leader and refused to wear the uniform given to defendants.

Neither of his two other trials, for organising prison breaks during the 2011 uprising and conspiring with foreign militant groups to destabilise Egypt, have opened yet.

Although Mr Morsi won the presidency in a democratic election, replacing ousted long-term leader Hosni Mubarak, he fell out with key institutions during his 13 months in power.

Since his removal, at least 1,000 people have been killed in clashes with security forces.

Mr Morsi's supporters say he and other senior Brotherhood leaders are the victims of politically motivated prosecutions.

Correction 24 January: This story has been amended to remove an incorrect reference to secularists boycotting the 2012 referendum.

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