UK & World News
Egypt: Ex-President Morsi Faces Jailbreak Trial
Former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi has gone on trial charged with breaking out of prison during the 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak.
He and some 130 others, including members of his banned Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist Palestinian movement Hamas and Lebanon's Shia militant group Hizbollah, have been charged over the jailbreak.
Some of the defendants have been accused of murdering police officers and assisting the thousands of inmates who escaped from Wadi Natrun jail.
Mr Morsi flew by helicopter from his current prison in Alexandria to the hearing which is being held at a heavily guarded makeshift courtroom in eastern Cairo.
The Islamist leader, who faces two other trials, was deposed by the army in July following massive popular protests against his one-year rule.
The hearing came as senior Egyptian official General Mohamed Saeed was assassinated outside his home in Cairo by two gunmen.
The powerful military is backing army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al Sisi to run for the presidency after he led the ousting of Egypt's first democratically elected president.
Morsi's trial takes place amid government crackdown against the former leader and his Islamist supporters that has seen more than 1,400 people killed since he was deposed, according to Amnesty International.
Most of those killed have been pro-Morsi demonstrators in street clashes with police and his opponents.
The date of the start of the new trial is symbolic as Tuesday marks the third anniversary of the prison break that occurred during the uprising against Hosni Mubarak.
A Brotherhood lawyer has said the trial appears aimed at "denigrating" Morsi and the Brotherhood.
In an earlier court appearance, Morsi insisted he was still the country's legitimate president and challenged the legitimacy of the court, regularly interrupting the judges and prosecutors.
He faces charges in four separate trials, some of which carry the death penalty.
Meanwhile, state news agency Mena reported that gunmen blew up a natural gas pipeline Monday night in the volatile Sinai Peninsula south of el-Arish, the capital of the North Sinai governorate.
Gas pipelines have come under attacks several times since the 2011 downfall of Mubarak with the last attack took place 10 days ago.
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