Sisi to run for president, Morsi to remain in prison
Jan 29, 2014 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Jan 29, 2014 12:00 am
Egypt’s freely and democratically elected ousted President Mohammad Morsi was on trial a second time for several accusations. Sisi, head of the coup, prepares to run for president.
By Yusuf Selman İnanç
Egypt's first democratically elected president, Mohammad Morsi, who was ousted from his post after a bloody coup on July 3 led by General Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi, appeared at a new trial on Tuesday. He was wearing a white prison uniform in a glass-encased metal cage, separated from the other defendants. Morsi paced and shouted angrily at the judge in apparent disbelief: "Who are you? Tell me". In a half hour footage aired on state television, Morsi protested to being in a cage for his trial as the treatment was quite humiliating for the former president. When Morsi was asked about the prison breaks in 2011 during the revolution, he yelled "Do you know where I am". Morsi told the judges that he was the legitimate president of Egypt as he was elected via democratic elections.
The other defendants turned their back to the court to protest the prosecution and Morsi during his speech said that he found the trial "invalid". He also raised his hand in an angry gesture and asked the judges to answer why he was held in prison. The judge said he was the head of Egypt's criminal court. This was the second time Morsi has appeared in court since the military coup. During his first appearance in November, he wore a trim, dark suit and appeared less aggressive. Morsi faces three other trials including accusations of breaking the country's stability, spying for Hamas and aiding the release of some prisoners during the 2011 revolution.
The Egyptian penalty code enables judges to carry out the death penalty for some prisoners, if proven guilty. Many Morsi supporters told Daily Sabah that they do not believe in the fairness of the court. Activists claim that the court is under the heavy pressure of the military-backed interim government.
While the democratically elected president Morsi was on trial, the Egyptian military made a statement saying that General Abdul-Fattah el-Sisimust run for presidency to supply political stability as the country has been dragged into a chaos with the deadly attacks and clashes. Yet, prominent Turkish journalist Taha Kılınç, specializing on Middle East politics, notes that the military wants to see Sisi as the head of the country to maintain the army's economic kingdom covering many sectors from cigarette-production to banking. Kılınç says that the military will thus have a stronger influence over civil politics. Sisi, if elected, will continue the tradition of Egyptian presidents drawn from the armed forces. The military's statement after thanking Sisi, stressed his popularity, but preferred to ignore the massive protests against the coup and Sisi himself.