The death sentences against Egypt’s ousted President Mohamed Morsi and five other Muslim Brotherhood leaders have been overturned by the country’s highest court of appeal.
Egypt’s Court of Cassation ordered that the six men face a retrial in connection with a mass prison break during the 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak.
Twenty-one life sentences for other Brotherhood members were overturned.
Mohamed Morsi was elected president in 2012 but was removed by the military in 2013 after protests against his rule.
Although the former president is no longer at risk of execution, he is serving three lengthy prison sentences relating to other convictions.
Mohamed Morsi and more than 100 other people were sentenced to death in May 2015 after being convicted of colluding with foreign militants – from the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas and Lebanon’s Shia Islamist Hezbollah movement – to organize a mass prison break.
He was being held at Wadi Natroun prison in January 2011 when armed men overcame the guards, freeing thousands of inmates.
Mohamed Morsi and his co-defendants, including the Brotherhood’s general guide Mohammed Badie, were also found guilty of the murder and kidnapping of guards, damaging and setting fire to prison buildings and looting the prison’s weapons depot.
In June 2015, a court upheld the death sentence against Mohamed Morsi and 98 others after consulting Egypt’s Grand Mufti, Shawi Allam.
It was not immediately clear why the Court of Cassation overturned the sentences on November 15, but Brotherhood lawyer Abdel Moneim said it had applied the law correctly.
Mohamed Morsi has also been sentenced to life in prison for allegedly conspiring to commit terrorist acts with foreign organizations and to another 40 years for allegedly leaking state secrets and sensitive documents to Qatar.
The former president was sentenced to 20 years after being convicted of ordering the unlawful detention and torture of opposition protesters during clashes with Brotherhood supporters outside a presidential palace in Cairo in December 2012.
Mohamed Morsi’s prosecution has taken place amid a wider crackdown on the Brotherhood, which President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has outlawed and vowed to wipe out. Hundreds of people have been killed and tens of thousands of people imprisoned in the past three years.
His supporters have said the trials are politically motivated and attempts to give legal cover to a coup. They claim they are based on unreliable witnesses and scant evidence.
Also on November 15, the Court of Cassation approved the decision to release Hosni Mubarak’s two sons from prison, the state-owned Mena news agency reported.
In October 2015, a lower court ruled that the time Alaa and Gamal Mubarak had spent in temporary detention exceeded the legal limit.
Alaa and Gamal Mubarak, who were arrested soon after the 2011 uprising, were sentenced along with their father to three years in prison for embezzlement in May 2015.
Egyptian Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat has been killed in a bomb attack on his car in Cairo, officials say.
Hisham Barakat died of his wounds in hospital after the bombing in the suburb of Heliopolis.
According to state media, at least eight others were also hurt in the attack.
Hisham Barakat has referred thousands of Islamists to trial since the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi in 2013.
Hundreds of Islamists have been sentenced to death or life imprisonment, as part of a crackdown on supporters of the banned Muslim Brotherhood.
Jihadist militants have meanwhile stepped up their attacks on Egypt’s security forces.
Hisham Barakat is the most senior figure to have been targeted for assassination since a 2013 attempt on the life of the then-interior minister.
“He [Hisham Barakat] has passed away,” Justice Minister Ahmed al-Zind told AFP news agency.
The Egyptian state news agency Mena said that he had died after undergoing critical surgery. A medical official at the hospital told the Associated Press that Hisham Barakat had received multiple shrapnel wounds to the shoulder, chest and liver.
The attack involved a car bomb or an explosive device placed under a parked car near Hisham Barakat’s convoy, bomb squad chief Gen. Mohamed Gamal told AFP.
The explosion sent black smoke rising over the neighborhood and set fire to nearby trees. Images from the scene showed several damaged vehicles and bloodstains on the streets.
At least three civilians were killed, according to Mena. Witnesses said that the blast had been strong enough to shatter the windows of nearby homes.
At the hospital, an injured bodyguard said that the explosion had hit Hisham Barakat’s convoy on the way to the office.
“There was glass flying everywhere. It was as if there was an earthquake,” he said, according to AFP.
Hisham Barakat had received death threats in the past.
The Egyptian affiliate of the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) recently called for attacks on the judiciary, after the hanging of six militants.
Former Egyptian leader Mohamed Morsi has been sentenced to life in prison for espionage.
Ex-President Mohamed Morsi was accused of spying on behalf of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, Lebanese militants Hezbollah and Iran.
The court is yet to decide on whether to uphold death sentences given to Mohamed Morsi and 100 others over a mass prison break in 2011.
Mohamed Morsi’s supporters have described the charges against him as “farcical”.
The former leader was deposed in July 2013 following mass street protests against his rule and is already serving a 20-year jail term for ordering the arrest and torture of demonstrators.
The judge said on June 16 that the Muslim Brotherhood “collaborated with Palestinian Hamas to infiltrate Egypt’s eastern borders and attack prisons”, state TV reported.
Mohamed Morsi was given life, while 16 other Muslim Brotherhood members – including leader Khairat al-Shater – were sentenced to death on charges of delivering secret documents abroad between 2005 and 2013.
In Egypt, a life sentence is 25 years in jail.
A final ruling on Mohamed Morsi’s death sentence for the 2011 prison break is expected after a court recess. It has been awaiting the opinion of Egypt’s highest religious figure, the Grand Mufti.
Egypt’s ousted President Mohamed Morsi and more than 100 other people have been sentenced to death over a mass prison break in 2011.
Mohamed Morsi is already serving a 20-year prison term for ordering the arrest and torture of protesters while in power.
Egypt’s religious authorities will now have to give their opinion before the sentence can be carried out.
Mohamed Morsi’s supporters from his Muslim Brotherhood movement have described the charges against him as “farcical”.
He was deposed by the military in July 2013 following mass street protests against his rule.
Since then, the authorities have banned the Muslim Brotherhood and arrested thousands of his supporters.
In a separate case on May 16, an Egyptian court banned football fan clubs known as the Ultras, who played a leading role in protests during the 2011 uprising against then-president Hosni Mubarak.
The former president raised both fists in defiance as the sentences were given.
Mohammed Morsi, who escaped from Wadi Natroun prison in January 2011, was accused of colluding with foreign militants in a plot to free Islamists during the mass prison breaks.
Many of his 104 co-defendants were Palestinians accused of being members of militant group Hamas, and were charged in absentia.
The court also issued rulings on another case, sentencing 16 Muslim Brotherhood members, including deputy leader Khairat al-Shater, to death on spying charges.
Mohamed Morsi, who also faces espionage charges, will be issued a verdict in that case at a later date.
Hundreds of people have been sentenced to death in a crackdown on the Brotherhood following Mohamed Morsi’s removal in 2013.
However, it is thought that only one such death sentence has been carried out so far.
All death sentences must first be sent to the grand mufti, Egypt’s highest religious authority, for his non-binding opinion on whether they should stand.
Convictions are still open to appeal, even if the grand mufti gives his approval.
The death sentence was condemned by Amnesty International, which said it had become a tool “to purge the political opposition”, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who likened it to a return to “ancient Egypt”.
Mohamed Morsi was Egypt’s first freely elected president, but protests began building less than a year into his rule when he issued a decree granting himself far-reaching powers.
The armed forces, led by then-military chief Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, ousted Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.
In May 2014, Abdul Fattah al-Sisi became president after securing a landslide victory in presidential elections with a turnout of 46%.
Egypt’s ousted President Mohamed Morsi is being charged with handing over national security documents to Qatar, the state prosecutor says.
Relations between Egypt and Qatar have been strained since the military ousted Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 after protests against his one-year rule.
Qatar supports the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist group to which he belongs.
He faces several trials for charges including espionage. He has called the court illegitimate.
Several other Muslim Brotherhood leaders, as well as hundreds of ordinary members, have already been sentenced to death.
A crackdown by the authorities over the past year has seen more than 1,400 people killed and 16,000 others detained, rights activists say.
Mohamed Morsi is being charged with handing over Egypt’s security documents to Qatar
Mohamed Morsi will be tried for having “handed over to Qatari intelligence documents linked to national security… in exchange for $1 million”, the prosecutor said in a statement quoted by AFP news agency.
He was accused of passing on the files via Doha-based TV network Al Jazeera.
When the allegations emerged in August, Al Jazeera told Reuters: “Any information Al Jazeera receives is handled with the highest standard of journalistic ethics. We do not therefore comment on sources, or pass information to governments.”
Last June, a court in Egypt sentenced three Al Jazeera English journalists to between seven and 10 years in prison after convicting them charges including of spreading false news.
The three journalists have strenuously denied the charges and plan to appeal.
The court decision was criticized by journalists and human rights groups, who have campaigned for their release.
Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has been declared the winner of last week’s presidential election in Egypt.
The former army chief said he wanted “freedom” and “social justice”, echoing the slogan of the 2011 revolution.
Abdul Fattah al-Sisi spoke after election officials announced that he had received 96.9% of the vote and his sole challenger, left-winger Hamdeen Sabahi, only 3.1%.
The retired field marshal overthrew President Mohamed Morsi last July.
He has since been locked in a battle with Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, which urged a boycott of what it called “the election of blood”.
Liberal and secular activists, including the April 6 youth movement which was prominent in the 2011 revolution that ousted Hosni Mubarak, also shunned the poll in protest at the curtailing of civil rights.
Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has been declared the winner of last week’s presidential election in Egypt (photo Reuters)
Some journalists and government officials burst into applause and started dancing after the final results of the election were announced at a news conference in Cairo on Tuesday.
Thousands of Abdul Fattah al-Sisi supporters also celebrated in the capital’s famous Tahrir Square, cheering, singing songs and setting off fireworks.
In a speech broadcast later on state television, Abdul Fattah al-Sisi thanked voters and said he hoped to “be up to your trust”.
He said it was now “time to work”, adding: “Our co-operation in work and construction will lead to prosperity and luxury.”
Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, a close ally, declared in a letter published by the Saudi state news agency that it was a “historic day” after a “period of chaos”. He also said he would organize a donor conference to help Egypt “get out of the tunnel” and “overcome its economic crisis”.
The Saudis, along with the UAE and Kuwait, have already promised the military-backed interim government almost $12 billion in financial assistance since Mohamed Morsi was ousted.
The official turnout was 47.45%, far lower than Abdul Fattah al-Sisi had hoped for as an endorsement and only achieved after an additional third day of voting.
Before the election, he declared that he wanted 40 million, or 74%, to cast their ballots to show that there was “consensus on a national level”.
He now faces a wide array of challenges, including fixing the economy, easing poverty and preventing further political crises.
Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has also promised to restore security in a country where attacks by Islamist militants have left hundreds of security personnel dead over the past 11 months.
Gunmen have killed six Egyptian soldiers at a checkpoint in the northern Cairo suburb of Shubra al-Khayma, state media reports.
A security official said two bombs left behind by the attackers had been defused.
The violence comes two days after another soldier was shot dead in an attack on an army bus in eastern Cairo.
Egypt has seen an upsurge in violence since the overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi last July
There has been an upsurge in violence since the overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi last July.
The military has accused Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood of carrying out this latest and previous attacks. The Muslim Brotherhood denies involvement.
The Muslim Brotherhood was designated a terrorist group in December and thousands of its members have been put on trial.
A series of high-profile attacks on security forces in Cairo and the Sinai Peninsula have been claimed by another group, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, which it says are in revenge for the military-backed government’s repression of Mohamed Morsi’s supporters.
Egypt’s ousted President Mohamed Morsi has been accused by prosecutors of leaking state secrets to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.
The claim came during the second hearing of his trial on espionage charges.
Prosecutors allege that he and 35 others were involved in a plot to destabilize Egypt. The trial was later adjourned to February 27.
The deposed Islamist leader is facing four separate trials.
Mohamed Morsi’s supporters say he and other senior Muslim Brotherhood leaders are the victims of politically motivated prosecutions.
The espionage trail opened on February 16 and on Sunday prosecutors detailed the charges against Mohamed Morsi and his co-defendants.
They were specifically accused of “delivering to a foreign country… national defense secrets and providing the Iranian Revolutionary Guards with security reports in order to destabilize the security and stability of the country”, AFP news agency reported.
The statement read in court did not identify the “foreign country”.
Egyptian prosecutors have accused ousted President Mohammed Morsi of leaking state secrets to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards
Mohamed Morsi is also accused of collaborating with the Palestinian movement Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement. If convicted, he could receive the death penalty.
During Sunday’s hearing, Mohamed Morsi was held separately in a soundproof glass cage to prevent him shouting and disrupting proceedings.
Mohamed Morsi was ousted by the military last July following mass street protests against his government.
There has since been a severe crackdown on his Muslim Brotherhood group, as well as on other activists seen as hostile to the military-backed government.
The Muslim Brotherhood has been declared a terrorist organization and authorities have punished any public show of support for it.
Other senior Brotherhood figures, including supreme guide Mohammed Badie and his deputy and former presidential candidate Khairat al-Shater, are also facing a raft of charges.
Proceedings in two other trials have already begun.
The first opened in November, with Mohamed Morsi facing charges of inciting the killing of protesters near the presidential palace when he was in office in 2012.
In January, another trial opened concerning Mohamed Morsi’s escape from prison in a jailbreak in 2011, during which police officers were killed.
The fourth trial, which has yet to open, will be on charges of insulting the judiciary.
Mohamed Morsi’s lawyers have walked out of his trial on charges of espionage and conspiring to commit acts of terror.
The former Egyptian president’s trial has now been adjourned until February 23.
The lawyers withdrew in protest at Mohamed Morsi and other defendants being confined in a soundproofed glass cage.
The Islamist former leader is facing four separate trials, three of which have now opened.
Mohamed Morsi was brought to Cairo’s police academy on Sunday morning by helicopter from the Burj al-Arab prison where he is being held.
In this trial, he and 35 others are accused of working with Lebanese and Palestinian groups to carry out attacks in Egypt.
Mohamed Morsi has been put in the soundproof cage in recent appearances to prevent him shouting and disrupting proceedings.
Mohamed Morsi’s lawyers have walked out of his trial on charges of espionage and conspiring to commit acts of terror
The defendants have said they cannot follow proceedings because of the cage, but the judge insisted that headphones installed inside the dock will allow them to listen.
The cage allows the judge to control when the defendants are heard.
At one point when he was audible, Mohamed Morsi said: “What are you so afraid of? Are you afraid because you have no public support?” Reuters reports.
The court said it would appoint a new defense team.
Mohamed Morsi was ousted by the military last July following mass street protests against his rule.
Since Mohamed Morsi was ousted there has been a severe crackdown on his Muslim Brotherhood group, as well as on other activists seen as hostile to the military-backed government.
The Muslim Brotherhood has been declared a terrorist organization and authorities have punished any public show of support for it.
Other senior Brotherhood figures, including supreme guide Mohammed Badie and his deputy and former presidential candidate Khairat al-Shater, are also facing a raft of charges,
At least 1,000 people have died in clashes between security forces and pro-Morsi protesters since he was deposed, with thousands more arrested.
In this latest trial, Mohamed Morsi is accused of collaborating with the Palestinian movement Hamas, Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. If convicted he could receive the death penalty.
Mohamed Morsi’s supporters say he and other senior Brotherhood leaders are the victims of politically motivated prosecutions.
Mohamed Morsi’s trial over his escape from prison in 2011 has begun in Cairo, state media say.
The Egypt’s ousted Islamist president was taken to the court in Cairo by helicopter from a prison in Alexandria, Mena news agency reports.
Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first freely-elected president, was deposed by the military in July 2013 after mass protests against his rule.
He is now facing four separate criminal trials on various charges.
Also on Tuesday, the interior ministry said that a ministry official, named in local media as General Mohammed Saeed, was shot dead on his way to work.
The killing comes amid a string of militant attacks on security services in recent days, and hours after Egypt’s top military body gave its backing for army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to run for president.
Mohamed Morsi’s trial over his escape from prison in 2011 has begun in Cairo
Supporters of Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi have gathered outside the building, but no pro-Morsi supporters have appeared.
Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood has been declared a terrorist organization and authorities have punished any public showing of support for it.
Another 130 people are also facing charges in the prison break trial, but many of the defendants are currently on the run.
Mohamed Morsi stands accused of organizing a mass breakout from the Wadi al-Natrun prison during the 2011 uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak, as well as the murder of prison officers.
He is appearing in a sound-proofed glass box during the trial and will only be permitted to speak after raising his hand.
State television reported that the defendants were shouting inside the glass box and were making the four-finger “Rabaa” protest sign, but could not be heard.
When he first appeared in court in November in a separate trial, Mohamed Morsi chanted slogans against the current government and the court. He also refused to recognize the court’s legitimacy or put on the required prison uniform.
The results of a two-day referendum showed that the proposed new Egyptian constitution has been backed by 98.1% of people, officials say.
Turnout was 38.6% of the 53 million eligible voters, the election committee said.
The draft constitution replaces one introduced by Islamist President Mohamed Morsi before he was ousted.
The referendum is being seen as a vote on the legitimacy of Mohamed Morsi’s removal and of the army, which toppled him in July last year.
The vote, which took place on Tuesday and Wednesday but was boycotted by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist movement from which Mohamed Morsi comes and which wants to see him returned to office.
Several people died in violence involving Mohamed Morsi’s supporters on the first day of voting.
Egypt’s draft constitution replaces one introduced by Islamist President Mohamed Morsi before he was ousted
There were further clashes with the security forces on Friday in which four people died, the Health Ministry said.
Election Commission head Nabil Salib called the vote an “unrivalled success” with “unprecedented turnout”, AP news agency reported.
A constitutional referendum held in 2012 while Mohamed Morsi was in power but boycotted by secularists saw a turnout of 33%, with 64% of voters approving the document.
The new proposed constitution was drafted by a 50-member committee that included only two representatives of Islamist parties.
Critics say the document favors the army at the expense of the people, and fails to deliver on the 2011 revolution that led to the fall of Hosni Mubarak.
Under the draft:
The president may serve two four-year terms and can be impeached by parliament
Islam remains the state religion – but freedom of belief is absolute, giving some protection to minorities
The state guarantees “equality between men and women”
Parties may not be formed based on “religion, race, gender or geography”
Military to appoint defense minister for next eight years [youtube 4QHb1D3zQHI 650]
Former Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi might not appear in court in Cairo because bad weather has prevented his departure from prison, officials say.
Other defendants have arrived at the police compound by helicopter but Mohamed Morsi is still in Alexandria.
Mohamed Morsi and 14 other Muslim Brotherhood figures are accused of inciting the killing of protesters outside a presidential palace in 2012.
He was removed by the army last July after demonstrations against his rule.
Mohamed Morsi’s supporters have since held regular protests calling for his reinstatement.
Last Friday at least 11 people died in clashes between police and pro-Muslim Brotherhood demonstrators across Egypt.
A helicopter carrying some of the defendants arrived at the National Police Academy complex in Cairo for the hearing early on Wednesday, reporters said.
However state media said Mohamed Morsi’s arrival had been delayed by bad weather. He is being held at the city’s Burj al-Arab prison.
Mohamed Morsi’s supporters have held regular protests calling for his reinstatement
Egyptian media said thousands of police were on alert and TV pictures showed some pro-Morsi protesters being arrested as they waved the four-finger salute adopted by supporters of the ousted president.
Mohamed Morsi is due to be asked to appoint a lawyer, which he refused to do during his initial appearance.
He also faces several other charges ranging from fraud to colluding with foreign militants in a terrorist plot.
Mohamed Morsi faces another court hearing at the end of January, accused with some 130 others of murdering policemen during a mass breakout from a Cairo prison in January 2011 shortly before the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak.
Human rights groups have dismissed some of the allegations against him as preposterous.
Egyptian officials insist Mohamed Morsi will be given a fair trial but lawyers trying to defend him say they have been denied access to him.
He first appeared in court in early November amid chaotic scenes.
Speaking from behind bars, he insisted he was still the president and was being held against his will.
Mohamed Morsi refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the court and would not wear a prison uniform.
Mohamed Morsi is to stand trial on charges including conspiring with foreign organizations to commit terrorist acts.
Prosecutors said Egypt’s ousted president had formed an alliance with the Palestinian militant group Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
Thirty-five others, including former aides and leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, have also been charged.
Since being deposed by the military in July, Mohamed Morsi has already gone on trial for inciting murder and violence.
The new charges carry the death penalty. Prosecutors describe the new charges as “the biggest case of conspiracy in the country’s history”.
Human rights organizations have expressed concern over whether Mohamed Morsi will be able to get a fair trial.
Mohamed Morsi’s supporters say the prosecutions are politically motivated, something the military-backed government denies.
Mohamed Morsi is to stand trial on charges including conspiring with foreign organizations to commit terrorist acts
He is one of thousands of Brotherhood members to have been detained in a crackdown portrayed by officials as a struggle against terrorism.
Hundreds of people have also been killed in clashes with security forces.
Mohamed Morsi and the other defendants, including the Brotherhood’s general guide Mohammed Badie and his two deputies, have now been charged with revealing state secrets to foreign organizations, sponsoring terrorism, and carrying out military training and other acts that undermined Egypt’s stability and independence.
Prosecutors allege that the Brotherhood had prepared a “terrorist plan” that included an alliance with Hamas, the Islamist group that governs Gaza, and Hezbollah, a powerful Lebanese Shia Islamist movement.
Several of the defendants, including Mohamed Morsi’s former chief of staff Essam Haddad, were also reportedly accused of giving state secrets to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.
The prosecutors also implicated the Brotherhood in the surge in attacks on the security forces since Mohamed Morsi’s overthrow, most of which have taken place in the Sinai peninsula and been claimed by jihadist militants.
The violence was intended to “bring back the deposed president and to bring Egypt back into the Muslim Brotherhood’s grip”, they claimed.
Last month, Mohamed Morsi went on trial on charges of incitement in connection with clashes between his supporters and opposition protesters outside the Ittihadiya presidential palace in Cairo in December 2012, in which at least seven people died.
Proceedings have been adjourned until January 8th, but Mohamed Morsi will also go on trial on December 23rd on separate fraud charges connected with the Brotherhood’s economic and social programme for Egypt’s recovery, called Renaissance (al-Nahda).
Egypt’s ousted President Mohamed Morsi has arrived in court in Cairo where he is due to go on trial, state media say.
Mohamed Morsi and 14 other Muslim Brotherhood figures face charges of inciting the killing of protesters in clashes outside the presidential palace.
Security services are on high alert after supporters of the former president called for major protests.
Mohamed Morsi was ousted by the military in July after protests against his rule.
According to state TV, Mohamed Morsi arrived at the courtroom, inside the Police Academy in Cairo. Other key Brotherhood figures, Essam el-Erian, Mohammed al-Beltagi and Ahmed Abdel Aati are also there.
While Mohamed Morsi was airlifted into the compound by helicopter, other defendants were said to have been brought in by armoured personnel carriers.
Mohamed Morsi and 14 other Muslim Brotherhood figures face charges of inciting the killing of protesters in clashes outside the presidential palace
The ousted president was seen from a distance in civilian clothes, Egyptian radio reported. This is his first appearance in public since he was ousted on July 3.
The trial had been due to take place at Tora prison on the other side of Cairo but had been switched late on Sunday, apparently to deter protesters.
Shortly after Mohamed Morsi’s arrival, a small crowd arrived and began chanting outside the sprawling police compound more than one hour’s drive from the centre of the city. The crowd soon grew to number some 200.
Although Mohamed Morsi won the presidency in a democratic election, during his 13 months in power he fell out with key institutions.
The ex-president is accused of “incitement to murder and violence” over the deaths of at least 10 people during intense clashes in December 2012 which followed a decree that gave him wide-ranging powers.
After he was ousted, a sit-in protest in Cairo by Mohamed Morsi’s supporters was violently broken up by the military, leading to the deaths of hundreds of people.
The interim government has also cracked down on the Muslim Brotherhood, from which Mohamed Morsi hails, banning the Islamist organization and arresting dozens of senior figures.
His supporters say he was removed in a coup and is now facing a politicized trial. Human rights groups accuse the security services of acting without accountability.
Mohamed Morsi and his co-defendants are expected to use the trial to underline what they see as the illegitimacy of their ousting. There is considerable interest in Egypt in whether the authorities decide to televise the former leader’s appearance in court.
Secretary of State John Kerry has called for an end to all violence in Egypt and urged moves to full democracy on his first visit to the country since President Mohamed Morsi was ousted.
“History has demonstrated that democracies are more stable, viable and prosperous than any alternative,” John Kerry told a news conference.
“With stability comes tourism and investment, and with both come jobs.”
John Kerry said the US was committed to working with Egypt’s military-backed rulers.
John Kerry on his first visit to Egypt since President Mohamed Morsi was ousted
His visit to Cairo was not disclosed by US officials until he landed. It is the first time a US secretary of state has travelled to Egypt on a visit that is unannounced for security reasons.
On his six-hour stop John Kerry was meeting the interim leaders that assumed control following Mohamed Morsi’s removal in July – President Adly Mahmud Mansour, PM Hazem el-Beblawi, Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy and army chief Gen Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
Egypt is the first stage of a nine-day tour that John Kerry will take in Middle Eastern and North African countries, as well as Poland.
Former President Mohamed Morsi goes on trial on Monday.
Clashes between former President Mohamed Morsi’s supporters and Egyptian troops have erupted in Cairo and other cities on Friday.
Heavy gunfire and explosions were heard in the centre of Cairo and tear gas was used. The government denied reports that a protester was killed.
Troops were out in force to prevent the protesters reaching Tahrir Square.
State TV reported further clashes in the northern Sharqiya district and to the east in Giza, as well as in the northern port city of Alexandria.
There were also reports of clashes between pro-Morsi demonstrators and civilian supporters of the military government.
One demonstrator was killed in the centre of the capital, according to some reports, although state TV carried a statement from the health ministry denying anyone had died.
Hundreds of Islamist protesters have died in violence since the Egyptian military deposed Mohamed Morsi in July.
Hundreds of Islamist protesters have died in violence since the Egyptian military deposed Mohamed Morsi in July
Thousands of members of the Muslim Brotherhood have also been detained over the past two months.
Several senior figures, including Mohamed Morsi and the movement’s general guide Mohammed Badie, are being held on charges such as incitement to violence and murder.
The authorities portray the crackdown as a struggle against “terrorism”.
Protesters in the capital’s Agouza district were chanting “Rabaa, Rabaa”, a reference to the square next to the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque where a sit-in was cleared by force in August.
Later, security forces fired tear gas at Morsi supporters as they tried to march towards Tahrir Square, the focus of the mass protests against Mohamed Morsi and his predecessor, Hosni Mubarak.
Troops also took up positions on both sides of Qasr al-Nil Bridge, which leads to the square from the Zamalek district.
Before Friday’s clashes, soldiers and police had tightened security around key sites in Cairo, including Tahrir Square.
Mohamed Morsi supporters have said they will be intensifying their demonstrations in the lead-up to Sunday’s 40th anniversary of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.
Opponents who back the army have also said they will take to the streets.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the Brotherhood sharply criticized the officers behind the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi, comparing them to Adolf Hitler, the Roman emperor Nero and the Mongol conqueror Hulagu Khan.
It urged Egyptian soldiers to rebel and said it hoped that Sunday would mark a “victory by the people over those who staged a coup against them for personal gain”.
On Thursday, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Baroness Catherine Ashton, held talks with armed forces chief General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi and interim President Adly Mansour, as well as with religious leaders.
“I got a real sense of everyone really trying to go forward in the right way,” she told reporters afterwards.
The previous day, a 16-year-old boy was killed in clashes between Mohamed Morsi supporters and opponents in the Red Sea city of Suez.
Egypt’s new government has decided to press ahead with the legal dissolution of the Muslim Brotherhood, state media report.
A spokesman for the social solidarity ministry said it would revoke the Islamist movement’s non-governmental organization status “within days”.
The Muslim Brotherhood had failed to respond to allegations of forming militia and illegal activities, he added.
The military authorities have launched a crackdown on the group since ousting President Mohamed Morsi on July 3.
Egypt’s new government has decided to press ahead with the legal dissolution of the Muslim Brotherhood
Dozens of senior figures, including its general guide Mohammed Badie, have been detained over allegations of inciting violence and murder.
Hundreds of people demanding Mohamed Morsi’s reinstatement, most of them Muslim Brotherhood members, have also been killed in clashes with security forces, who portray the crackdown as a struggle against “terrorism”.
The 85-year-old Islamist movement was banned by Egypt’s military rulers in 1954, but registered itself as an NGO in March in response to a court case bought by opponents who contested its legal status.
The Muslim Brotherhood also has a legally registered political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party, which was set up in June 2011 as a “non-theocratic” group after the uprising that forced President Hosni Mubarak from power.
Eleven supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi have been sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of attacking the Egyptian army.
The men were accused of wounding soldiers, sabotaging armored vehicles and burning churches during riots in the port city of Suez last month.
Forty-five others received five-year sentences, while five were acquitted.
The riots followed a deadly crackdown by security forces on two pro-Morsi protest camps in the capital, Cairo.
Hundreds of people, mostly members of Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, were killed when the sit-ins outside the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque and at Nahda Square were cleared on August 14.
The unrest in Suez, 87 miles to the east of Cairo, on August 14 and 16 left more than 30 dead.
It is not clear if those convicted on Tuesday are Brotherhood members. But if they are, the verdicts would be the first affecting the Islamist group since the military launched a campaign against it after ousting Mohamed Morsi.
Eleven supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi have been sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of attacking the Egyptian army
State prosecutors announced on 1 September that after almost two months in detention at a secret location, Mohamed Morsi would stand trial for inciting murder and violence.
The charges relates to the deaths of at least seven people during clashes between opposition protesters and Brotherhood supporters outside the Ittihadiya presidential palace in Cairo in December 2012.
Fourteen other senior Muslim Brotherhood figures, including Mohammed al-Beltagi and Essam al-Erian, will be tried on the same charge.
Also on Tuesday, a court in Cairo ordered the closure of four television stations, including the Brotherhood’s Ahrar 25 TV and al-Jazeera’s Egyptian affiliate Mubasher Misr, saying they were operating illegally.
The stations were seen by the authorities as being sympathetic to the Brotherhood.
The group called for protests demanding the reinstatement of Mohamed Morsi in the capital on Tuesday under the slogan: “The coup is terrorism.”
The state news agency, Mena, said security forces had sealed off some roads in the capital. Military vehicles were reported to be blocking the entrances to the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque and Tahrir Square, the centre of the anti-government protests which triggered the Egyptian revolution in 2011.
The resumption of national rail services after 17 days was also delayed.