EGYPT: With Mohamed Morsi facing the death penalty for espionage, conspiring with terrorists, and murdering anti-Morsi protesters…

Morsi’s lawyers walk out of the courtroom, saying the defendant couldn’t hear the proceedings from the soundproof cage he is confined to during the trial.

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UK Telegraph  The opening day of the trial for the third and most serious set of charges he faces ended in farcical scenes, as his lawyers walked out and the defendants and their supporters chanting slogans. Previous court hearings were overshadowed by Mr Morsi’s barking at the judges, refusing to recognize them and insisting that he remained the legitimate president.

This time his principal lawyer, Mohammed Salim al-Awa, said he was withdrawing from the case as his client could not hear what was happening. Mr Morsi himself was briefly heard, shouting: “This is a farce. All this because you are afraid of me – you are afraid that the president is speaking.”

This set of charges accuses Mr Morsi and other Brotherhood leaders of espionage and plotting against the country with foreign powers – mainly Hamas, the Gaza-based Palestinian group which is an offshoot of the Brotherhood. The prosecution have described the “plot” as the biggest criminal conspiracy in Egypt’s history. The court adjourned the case to February 23, and ordered a new team of lawyers to be appointed for the defendants.

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