Muslim Brotherhood’s top leader appears in court on incitement charges

Photo: Muslim Brotherhood’s top leader appears in court on incitement charges / Arabic region

The leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood appeared on Monday for the first session of his court case on charges of inciting violence against opposition protesters in the days surrounding the July ouster of former president Mohammed Morsi, dpa reported.

This is Mohammed Badie's first appearance since he was arrested on August 20.

Badie and 14 other Islamists are charged with inciting clashes in July in Giza, near Cairo, in which at least five people were killed and 100 injured.

Nationwide violence erupted after the army toppled Morsi on July 3 following days of widespread protests in which millions took to the streets demanding his ouster.

The military-backed authorities have rounded up hundreds of Islamists over the past five months.

Badie faces incitement charges in several other cases. He was arrested one week after security forces violently dispersed two major pro-Morsi sit-ins in Cairo, in which hundreds were killed.

He is expected to appear in court on Wednesday on charges of inciting the killing of demonstrators outside the group's headquarters in Cairo.

Clashes erupted for the second day between pro-Morsi students and security forces around al-Azhar University, in eastern Cairo. The university is linked to Egypt's main centre of Islamic learning.

Footage from the private ONTV satellite channel showed black smoke and tear gas in the area of the university.

The report said security forces surrounded the university to disperse the students.

Al-Azhar university, which has seen repeated violence since the school year began in September, is believed to be a stronghold of Islamist movements, including Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood.

Follow us on Twitter @TRENDNewsAgency