An Egyptian court on Sunday set Sunday for the resumption of the trial of ousted president Mohamed Morsi and 14 co-defendants for allegedly inciting the murder of demonstrators outside Cairo's Ittihadiya presidential palace in late 2012, a judicial source said Tuesday.
According to the source, the decision came one day after the same court turned down a request for the recusal of the presiding judges in the case.
The recusal request was filed by a lawyer for Muslim Brotherhood leader Essam al-Erian, who is also a trial defendant.
Al-Erian complained that one of the judges, Ahmed Suleiman, had made a television appearance last month in which he had already "issued his ruling in the case."
The judge's television appearance violated the law and obliges the presiding judges to recuse themselves, defense lawyers said in a statement.
But the appeals court on Monday said that al-Erian had already attended seven court sessions at which he had made all his demands clear, rejecting his request for new judges and fining him $1430.
"The court has already made progress in handling the case," the court said in its ruling.
Morsi and his 14 co-defendants – seven of whom are being tried in absentia – are charged with inciting the murder of opposition demonstrators during clashes between pro- and anti-Morsi protesters outside Cairo's Ittihadiya presidential palace.
While a total of 11 people – including eight Morsi supporters – were killed in the violence, the trial only addresses the death of one reporter and two anti-Morsi protesters.
Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected leader, was ousted by the military last July – after only one year in office – following protests against presidency.
He currently faces four different trials for multiple charges, including espionage, jailbreak and "offending the judiciary."
Morsi, along with all of his co-defendants, insists that the charges against him are politically motivated.
By Walid Fouda
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