CAIRO: Former President Mohamed Morsi called on Egyptians in a Sunday court session to unite in the approaching anniversary of the January 25 Revolution to “topple the coup;” his espionage trial was adjourned to Jan. 21, Youm7 reported.
“I wish we had brotherhoodized the state like people were claiming, all of this would not have happened,” Morsi said, adding that he instead appointed Abdel Fatah al-Sisi as a minister of defense, Mohamed Ibrahim as a minister of interior and Hesham Genena as the head of the Accountability State Authority. Genena and Ibrahim are incumbent of their posts, except Sisi, who became president in May 2014.
Morsi said the December 2012 report of the fact-finding committee he had formed included testimonies from security chiefs of hotels at Tahrir Square that officers who worked under the command of Sisi, then military intelligence chief, took to rooftops at the square and were responsible for sniping at protesters in 2011.
The former President added he did not arrest Sisi at the time because he (Morsi) wanted to preserve the military institution, Youm7 reported. Morsi promoted Sisi to be a minister of defense in August 2012.
During his pleading, Morsi said “I am the president,” refusing to recognize the court “has power over him,” according to Youm7.
He noted that the rule of Egypt was transferred from King Farouk to King Fouad II, and from President Mohamed Naguib to President Gamal Abdel Nasser per constitutional procedures, “unlike what happened” to him.
Morsi’s ouster and following whereabouts
Morsi said he was surprised with the decision to oust him and with halting the 2012 constitution after Sisi’s meeting with parties and public figures on July 3, adding that the meeting was supposed to conclude certain demands to be presented to him.
European Union Ambassador to Egypt James Moran told Tahrir TV in October 2013 that Morsi’s administration “were not hearing” the messages the EU was passing during reconciliation efforts before his ouster.
“We were asked to do whatever we could to try to help with bringing people back together. We made our best efforts back then… it didn’t work,” Moran said, adding that labeling Morsi’s ouster in July 2013 as a coup would be “too simplistic.”
“It didn’t work for us, it didn’t work for the military, who were really really concerned to try to do that back then, and I must say there were very genuine well intentions by everybody here in Egypt to stop a train break,” Moran added.
When Commander of the Republican Guard Mohamed Zaki, still incumbent, arrested Morsi, the latter asked “who are you working with? I am the president,” Youm7 quoted Morsi during the court session.
Zaki replied “are you expecting me to fight the military?” Morsi told the court.
After the ouster, and according to Morsi, he was put under house arrest inside the Republican Guard building in Cairo from July 3-5 with then-adviser to the president Essam el-Haddad, then-chief of the presidential office Refaa al-Tahtawi and his deputy Asaad al-Sheikha.
He was then transported in an airplane to Suez, then to Ismailia on the same day, and finally to a naval base in Alexandria until his trial began in November 2013.
The legality of Morsi’s arrest on July 3 was disputed after a leaked audio surfaced purporting top military officials discussing means to solve procedural flaws regarding the location of his detention. The prosecution accused the Muslim Brotherhood of fabricating the audio, and also said his whereabouts following his ouster would not affect the case because it views that wherever he was detained was to protect his life.
Morsi and 18 other Brotherhood leaders, including Khairat el-Shater and Brotherhood Guide Mohamed Badie, are standing trial on charges of collaborating with foreign organizations to execute acts of terrorism in Egypt and revealing national security secrets.
State Security Prosecution has accused defendants of espionage charges from between 2005 to 2013 inside and outside Egypt.
Morsi is also being tried in two other cases; he is charged with escaping from Wadi al-Natroun Prison during the January 25 Revolution, and complicity in killing at least 10 protesters outside the Ithadeya presidential palace in December 2012.