CAIRO: The trial of Egypt’s deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and 35 others on charges of espionage in collaboration with Palestinian Hamas movement will start on February 16, judicial sources said Tuesday.
It is the third Morsi trial for which a date has been fixed and is part of a relentless government crackdown on the ousted leader and his Islamist supporters since his July 3 ouster by the army.
If found guilty, the defendants could face the death penalty.
Morsi and others including former aides and leaders of his Muslim Brotherhood have been accused of launching a “terrorist” campaign inside Egypt in collaboration with Hamas, the sources said.
The group is accused “of spying for the international organisation of the Muslim Brotherhood, its military wing and Hamas movement, and carrying out terror attacks inside the country against state property, institutions and their employees to spread chaos”, state news agency MENA said.
Morsi, toppled by the military after a single year of turbulent rule, is already on trial for his alleged involvement in the killing of opposition protesters during his presidency.
A second trial on jailbreak charges during the 2011 uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak is set to start on January 28, and he will also be tried for “insulting the judiciary”. A date for that has yet to be fixed.