The court, which held the first session of the trial Nov. 4, will resume hearing witness testimonies in a closed session on the new date. The chairman of the court, Ahmad Sabry, decided April 6 to ban the media from attending the trial to “protect national security.”
Alongside Morsi, Secretary-General of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party Mohamed Beltagy, his deputy Essam el-Erian and 11 other defendants are charged in the case. Seven of the remaining defendants are still at large.
From Dec. 4-6, 2012, protests broke out around the Ithadeya Presidential Palace in Heliopolis against the constitutional declaration Morsi had issued on Nov. 22, 2012. Reporter Mostafa al-Husseiny was killed during the protests, triggering considerable public outcry.
Videos of protesters being beaten and interrogated by supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood in the vicinity of the palace circulated in the media and social networking websites. Members of the media, activists and some of the public called the supporters “Brotherhood militias.” Nine protesters were killed in the events and dozens injured.
The next session for Morsi’s prison break trial, separate from the Ithadeya case, is scheduled for May 8. It includes 130 other Muslim Brotherhood members, including the group’s Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie and his deputy Mahmoud Ezzat, along with Katatni and Erian.
This case dates back to January 2011, when Morsi was charged with fleeing Wadi al-Natroun prison along with other Islamists and prisoners and attacking other prisons.
Yet another Morsi trial, the session for the trial for espionage and collaboration with Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran is scheduled for Monday. It also involves Morsi and 35 Muslim Brotherhood leaders, including Katatni, Badie and his deputy Khairat al-Shater. Morsi’s fourth trial, on charges of “insulting the judiciary,” has yet to begin.