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Trial of ousted Egypt president resumes

The trial of Egypt's deposed president Mohamed Morsi [BBC profile] for inciting the murder of several protesters resumed on Saturday. Morsi appeared [Ahram report] with 14 co-defendants before the court for the alleged acts committed at the Ittihadiya Presidential Palace in December 2012. Morsi continues to reject the charges by claiming the court has no jurisdiction because he is still the lawful president of Egypt. Morsi's lawyer argues that Morsi is entitled, as the rightful president, to have the investigation led by the prosecutor-general and be tried before senior members of the appeals court and constitutional court. The case was then adjourned until Tuesday to give a committee of media members time to inspect video evidence the court declassified for the trial.

Egypt has dealt with political unrest since the Egyptian Revolution [JURIST backgrounder] began in 2011, and anti-government protesters and supporters of the Islamic Muslim Brotherhood [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] continue to fight the military backed government for political control in the country. This trial, which was adjourned in November until now, comes just one week after Egypt announced [JURIST reports] it would elect a new president before voting on a parliament. In the last six weeks, the Egyptian government made a major step in governmental reform through the drafting of a new constitution, which was ratified [JURIST report] by 98 percent of voters last month. Egyptians voted [JURIST report] on the new military-backed constitution on January 16, with news reports citing a 42 percent voter turnout rate coupled with serious irregularities in the voting records. Morsi's actions while in office have generated much criticism and his trial has prompted a great deal of scholarship [JURIST op-eds].

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