Court sets 16 May for verdict in Morsi’s jailbreak trial

Ousted president Morsi’s jailbreak trial will conclude 16 May, with other trials he faces coming to verdicts this Spring

Cairo Criminal Court has set 16 May as the date for its final verdict in the jailbreak trial of ousted president Mohamed Morsi and 130 others.

The court will rule on charges of the jailbreak of inmates from a number of prisons in the early days of the January 2011 uprising, including Morsi, who reportedly escaped from Wadi El-Natroun prison.

Prosecutors accuse the defendants of murder, attempted murder, damaging and setting fire to prison buildings, and looting prison weapons depots.

The defendants are also accused of helping prisoners from Gaza’s Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah, along with jihadists, Muslim Brotherhood members and criminals, to break out of jails.

Among the defendants in the trial are also leading Muslim Brotherhood members Saad El-Katatny, Mahmoud Ezzat, Safwat Hegazy and Essam El-Arian. Twenty-two defendants are detained pending trial while the rest are being tried in absentia.

The ousted Islamist president is currently standing trial over a number of charges, including espionage and the killing of protesters outside the Ittihadiya presidential palace.

Cairo Criminal Court has already set 21 April as the date for the final verdict in the Ittihadiya presidential palace case where the ousted president faces charges of inciting the killing of protesters in December 2012.

The same court previously set 16 May as the date for the final verdict in the espionage trial, where Morsi is accused of collaborating with foreign organisations, namely Hamas, while in office to commit acts of terrorism in Egypt.