Egypt adjourns mass Brotherhood trial

Cairo, March 26: A court in Egypt Tuesday adjourned until April 28 the second mass trial of 683 alleged Muslim Brotherhood supporters who face charges including murder incitement of violence and sabotage, Al Jazeera reported.

The proceedings in Minya, south of here, were adjourned a day after the same court handed down death sentences to 529 suspected backers of deposed president Mohamed Morsi over a deadly attack on a police station.

Monday’s verdict, in which defence lawyers were not allowed to present their case, drew wide public and international criticism.

Rights groups, the US and the European Union expressed concern and questioned the fairness of proceedings against so many defendants lasting just two days.

Amnesty International, the Britain-based rights group, said it was the biggest mass sentence given in modern Egyptian history.

The charges in Tuesday’s proceedings also stemmed from rioting last August sparked by the security forces’ storming of two Brotherhood sit-ins in Cairo that killed over 600 people.

Only 68 of the 683 defendants were present in the court Tuesday. The rest were being tried in absentia.

At least 1,400 people have been killed in the crackdown on Morsi’s supporters and thousands more arrested, according to Amnesty International.

Morsi is himself currently on trial in three different cases. He was toppled by the army after a single year in power following mass protests demanding his resignation.

IANS