The trial of Egypt’s deposed president, Mohamed Morsi, on charges of incitement of violence and murder has been adjourned until January 8.
Morsi’s appearance on Monday at a police academy in an eastern Cairo district was his first public appearance since his military-orchestrated overthrow on July 3.
If convicted, Morsi – Egypt’s first freely elected president – could face the death penalty.
He was flown on Monday from a secret military location to the venue of his trial by helicopter, while his co-defendants were brought to the trial venue from their jail in a suburb south of Cairo in armoured police cars.
According to leaks from inside the courtroom, the session was temporarily suspended by the judge, who wanted Morsi to obey the court’s rules on defendants’ clothes and the other defendants to stop their chants against the trial.
Military sources told AlJazeera that when Morsi was flown to the court, he was still wearing his suit.
“The other defendants who turned up were wearing the white boiler suits of prisoners. All prisoners in Egyptian trials are supposed to wear the white boiler suit before they are found guilty. And if they are found guilty, they then turn up in a blue boiler suit.
“However, Morsi said this was undignified, refusing to recognise that he was a defendant or that he had a case to answer. If there was anybody to speak on his behalf in court [defence lawyers], it would be him, he said,” sources said.
Morsi faces charges along with 14 other Brotherhood figures and allies – including Mohamed el-Beltagy and Essam el-Erian – in connection to clashes last December outside his presidential palace that left at least 10 dead.
Months in custody has done nothing to change Morsi’s resolve as sources said he insisted he was still Egypt’s president and that the trial was illegitimate.
“I don’t like it for the judges to be part in the coup,” Morsi is reported to have said.
“I am present in court only because of coercion.”