Ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi does not recognize the authority of a court scheduled to try him next week on murder- and torture-related charges and has refused to retain an attorney to argue on his behalf, Ahram Online reported Tuesday
Morsi is slated to appear in court Monday alongside 14 other prominent Islamists to face charges of inciting murder and torture during deadly street battles outside Egypt’s presidential palace in December.
The former president has not appointed counsel because doing so “would mean he renounces his legitimacy as the country’s elected president,” said attorney Mohamed El-Damaty, head of an organization called the Lawyers’ Syndicate Freedoms Committee.
A team of Egyptian lawyers will attend the trial with Morsi, but “ will only observe proceedings,” said a spokesman for the Legal Team of Coup Victims, a pro-Morsi group.
Referring to Morsi’s ouster by the Egyptian military July 3, the organization added the former president did not recognize the legitimacy of “any of the actions and processes that resulted from the coup," Daily News Egypt reported
Since July, the Egyptian military has undertaken a large-scale crackdown against
Morsi and his allies in the Muslim Brotherhood, which has included the arrest of Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie, the organization’s top authority, along with thousands of other Islamists.
Some Morsi supporters have called for mass protests against the trial, raising the specter of more violent confrontations between supporters and foes of the ousted president.