Muslim Brotherhood Leader Appears in Court
The Muslim Brotherhood's supreme guide turned on his accusers on Monday, when he appeared in court for the first time since he was arrested following the army's overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, reports Reuters.
"Why aren't you investigating the killing of my son, and the burning of my house and the group's offices?" Mohammed Badie asked of the judge, referring to his 38-year-old son who was killed in August in the midst of a crackdown on the group.
Badie claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood had perpetrated no violence, as his trial began at a police academy where Morsi went on trial last month. They were his first public remarks since his arrest on August 20.
The supreme guide faces charges that include inciting violence during a Brotherhood sit-in at Cairo University in mid-July.
The court ordered the trial to reconvene on February 11, Al Arabiya reported. Badie, 70, appeared with other prominent Islamists including Mohammed el-Beltagi and Essam el-Erian, who was arrested in late October.
On July 25, days after Morsi’s overthrow, Badie described the military’s actions as an act worse than destroying Islam’s holiest shrine, the Kaaba.
“I swear by God that what [Gen. Abdel-Fattah] al-Sissi did in Egypt is more criminal than if he had carried an ax and demolished the holy Kaaba, stone by stone,” Badie said, according to Al Arabiya.
Badie has in the past called for a jihad (holy war) to liberate Jerusalem from Israeli rule.
Following Badie’s arrest, his lawyer claimed that he had beaten by police. Subsequent reports indicated that Badie had suffered a heart attack in prison, but Egypt’s Interior Ministry denied those repors.
More than 1,000 people, mainly Morsi supporters, have been killed since July 3 when he was ousted and authorities have rounded up some 2,000 Islamists, including most of the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood.