CAIRO - Ousted president Mohamed Morsi will have no legal representation in the misdemeanor cases he faces, a lawyer said hours before the start of hearings into charges that Morsi had "deceived the public" by presenting them with an "illusory" electoral platform when he ran in Egypt's 2012 presidential polls.
CAIRO – Ousted president Mohamed Morsi will have no legal representation in the misdemeanor cases he faces, a lawyer said hours before the start of hearings into charges that Morsi had “deceived the public” by presenting them with an “illusory” electoral platform when he ran in Egypt’s 2012 presidential polls.
“We will only focus on major cases and overlook other misdemeanor charges against the ousted president,” Mohamed al-Damati, a spokesman for lawyers representing defendants in another Morsi trial (related to last year’s clashes outside Cairo’s Ittihadiya presidential palace), told Anadolu Agency.
A misdemeanor, a criminal offense that is less serious than a felony and more serious than an infraction, is generally punishable by a fine, incarceration or both.
Morsi appeared in court for the first time in November to answer charges that he had incited the murder of opposition protesters outside the presidential palace last year.
On Saturday, prosecutors referred him and 129 others to court, including members of Palestinian group Hamas and the Lebanese Hezbollah movement, on charges related to Morsi’s escape from Wadi al-Natrun Prison during the 2011 uprising that toppled longstanding autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
Last week, the deposed leader was also referred, along with others, to court on charges of “conspiring” with Hamas and Hezbollah to carry out a “terrorist plot” inside Egypt.
Al-Damati said that no defense lawyers would attend Morsi’s trial session on Monday, adding that the misdemeanor charges had no legal basis and aimed to distract his team and waste their time.
“A lawyer in Luxor might file another complaint tomorrow and another from another province might file a third one the following day,” al-Damati said.
He expected Morsi not to attend Monday’s trial session, adding that the ousted president had insisted that his trials be held according to the law and Egypt’s constitution, according to which, he said, the court lacked jurisdiction to try the president of the republic.
Under Egypt’s 2012 constitution, which was suspended by the military when it ousted Morsi on July 3, the president can only be tried by a special tribunal headed by the chairman of Egypt’s Supreme Judicial Council and top judges.