Egypt's 'Rabaa trial' adjourned to May 29

Photo: Egypt's 'Rabaa trial' adjourned to May 29 / Arab World

An Egyptian court on Sunday adjourned the trial of 51 supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, including Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed Badie, on charges of plotting to sow sedition during the forcible dispersal of Rabaa al-Adawiya sit-in to a May 29 session, a judicial source said, AA reported.

Prosecution is expected to present evidence to the court during the upcoming session, the source said.

During Sunday's session recess, a representative of the U.S. embassy attending the session approached the defendants' dock to try to speak with defendant Mohamed Soltan, who holds U.S. citizenship, according to the source.

Badie spoke briefly from behind bars during the session, saying the Egyptian people "will never be subjugated."

Badie, who recently received a preliminary death sentence in a separate trial, said that "to die for God's sake" is his highest honor, to which defendants shouted "Down with military rule" and "God is great."

In February, Egyptian prosecutors referred the 51 defendants, including several senior Brotherhood leaders, to criminal court on charges of setting up an "operations room" during last August's dispersal of a sit-in staged by Morsi supporters in Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya Square.

The defendants are accused of "masterminding a plot to sow chaos and storm and set afire police stations, state institutions, public and private property and churches."

Prosecutors also accuse the defendants of "coordinating with e-committees to disseminate doctored images about people killed and wounded protesters.

Hundreds were killed when security forces violently dispersed two pro-Morsi sit-ins in Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya and Giza's Nahda squares.

The dispersal came a few weeks after Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected leader, was deposed by the army following demonstrations against his one-year presidency.

The Egyptian government then launched a sweeping, sustained crackdown on the ousted president's supporters, in which the Rabaa dispersal is widely seen as having been a turning point.

In a report released in February, Egypt's state-run National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) said that a total of 632 pro-Morsi protesters had been killed in the dispersal.

The NCHR went on, however, to accuse sit-in organizers - along with Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood group - of allowing "armed elements" into the protest camp and targeting security forces.

However, the National Alliance for the Defense of Legitimacy, Morsi's main support bloc, has slammed the NCHR report as "a pack of lies."

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