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Egypt: Former President Morsi to be put on trial

2nd Sep 2013

Ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is to stand trial on charges of inciting deadly violence. Meanwhile, the country’s interim government has named a panel to draw up a revised constitution.

Egypt’s public prosecutor on Sunday ordered former President Morsi to stand trial on charges of committing and inciting violence.

The charges stem from clashes between Morsi supporters and opponents outside of the presidential palace in Cairo last December, in which seven people died.

Egypt’s state news agency reported that Morsi, along with 14 other members of the Muslim Brotherhood, would stand trial in a Cairo criminal court. There was no immediate word on when the trial would begin.

Morsi has been held at an undisclosed location since the Egyptian army removed him from office amid mass demonstrations against the president and his government on July 3.

Constitutional panel named

Also on Sunday, the civilian interim president put in place by the military announced the appointment of a 50-member panel to draw up amendments to Egypt’s constitution, which was drafted by an Islamist-dominated assembly. The current constitution was approved in a referendum in December of 2012, for which only 33 percent of eligible voters turned out.

The Muslim Brotherhood is not among the political movements or parties represented on the new constitutional panel. It refused to participate in the process, arguing that it is illegitimate, as it was created by an administration that was appointed by the army, after it deposed the democratically elected Morsi.

The committee has 60 days to come up with recommendations for changes to the constitution, after which the president will have 30 days to announce a date for a referendum on the revised document.

The military has pledged to restore democracy to Egypt, with a new general election to be held early next year.

pfd/msh (AFP, AFP)

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