CAIRO: Former President Mohamed Morsi said Saturday that he was detained at a military base in Alexandria in July 2013 after his ouster, and demanded a private court hearing with current President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.
While in court Saturday, he said that if he were granted the private hearing with Sisi, he was “ready” to reveal “more details for the history about what has happened in Gaza and Palestine,” according to various media attending the session.
Morsi appeared at court for his trial on charges of espionage, in which he and 34 co-defendants are accused of collaborating with foreign authorities.
The possibility of holding the secret hearing was said to be a matter of consideration by the court, which can approve, consider or ignore Morsi’s request, Lawyer Mohamed Zarea told The Cairo Post.
Al-Shorouq reported Morsi said he had been held at the Frogmen Navy base in Abu Qer from July 5 until he was taken on Nov. 5 to his current prison.
After his July 3 ouster, Morsi said he was taken in the Republican Guard building, and then flown to the navy facility, Al-Shorouq reported.
The prosecution recently accused the Muslim Brotherhood of fabricating an audio recording in which military officials appear to discuss procedural flaws regarding Morsi’s initial detention after his ouster. The prosecution rejected the validity of the tape, and announced it is legally pursuing those involved.
The audio was first published by the Mekamleen Channel, the logo of which is the Rabaa Sign, and it is believed to be affiliated with the group.
According to a conversation in the audio, which has not been authenticated, if Morsi had been kept in a place not designed for detention, it would make his detention illegal and could therefore serve as grounds for release. In the 30-minute recording, there were voices attributed to presidency and high profile military officials suggesting collusion with the prosecution to fake official documents to retroactively transfer administration of the facility to the Interior Ministry.
Al-Shorouq reported Saturday that a decision was made by the Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim May 2, 2013 to designate the Frogmen base at Abu Qer Navy base a prison. Ibrahim’s decision was said to have been added to the record of Morsi’s espionage case on Nov. 9, 2014.
Morsi’s detention at Abu Qer was first announced on March 1, 2014 by the prosecution during his trial over killing protesters at the Ithadeya Palace.
Lawyer Zarea said there should not be a “rapid denial or confirmation” on issues like the leaked tape until after a thorough, independent, and transparent investigation by professional voice experts.
Zarea added that since the leaked audio was out, the focus was on Morsi’s legal chance to be out of prison, although it is still under investigations. He went on saying “the seriousness of the matter comes when the leaks are proved to be true.”
“This critical penetration to a high profile office in the state is also considered a danger to the national security,” continued Zarea.
Morsi is standing trial in a number of cases including the espionage charges, Ithadeya clashes, and a 2011 escape from Wadi al-Natroun prison. Morsi was accused of another espionage case with charges of collaborating with Qatar as announced by the Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim in March 30, 2014.