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Morsi to Face Three Separate Trials

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January 22, 2014

Former President Mohamed Morsi, along with 35 co-defendants, will face charges of spying for which, if convicted, they could face the death penalty.

The espionage trial will begin on February 16. The defendants are accused of collaborating with Hamas, a Palestinian freedom organization, and with Hezbollah, a militant movement based in Lebanon.

The charges stem from a mass jailbreak in 2011, during the revolution that overthrow former President Hosni Mubarak. Like many leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi served time in jail for his political activity, which was sometimes violent.

Morsi himself will have been through two trials by the time the spying trial begins. Ousted on July 3, 2013, Morsi was under military guard until appearing in a court room in December 2013 to face charges of inciting violence during a protest against his government. That trial, suspended in the wake of chaos in the courtroom, begins February 1.

A third trial awaits Morsi, whose vocal outbursts during his December trial earned him a separate set of charges for, the news agency said, "insulting the judiciary." Among his utterances during his initial court appearance, Morsi challenged the legitimacy of the interim government and the court itself and its judge. No date has been set for that trial. Many of Morsi's co-defendants face similar charges and could face separate yet related trials.

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