Mursi recounts Wadi al-Natroon prison break in court

Saturday 17-01-2015 06:50 PM
Mursi recounts Wadi al-Natroon prison break in court

Ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi is seen behind bars during his trial at a court in Cairo May 8, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer


CAIRO, Jan 17 (Aswat Masriya) – Former Islamist president Mohamed Mursi gave his account of the prison break that took place on January 29 during the 2011 uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak on Saturday. 

Mursi is being tried alongside 130 other defendants for collaborating with international bodies, the Palestinian Hamas and Lebanese Hezbollah, to escape prison during the January 25 uprising.

In Saturday's session, Mursi said that after he was detained in Wadi al-Natroon prison on January 29, "we were awoken by tear gas smoke and stayed until we prayed Fajr, then things calmed down."

"I personally slept, and the brothers woke me up and told me that … the prison was open and there is no one else but the Muslim Brotherhood and if you stay you will die," he told the court. "For four hours, people kept breaking the door. We didn’t know if they were inmates or families. After the door was broken, we were alone in the prison."

"At 11 a.m., I was given a phone… and was surprised to find Al-Jazeera channel calling," he added. "I saw this as an opportunity to… calm our families down in the chaos."

After the escape, Mursi said he learned from news reports that the minister of interior decided to release 34 Muslim Brotherhood members from Wadi al-Natroun prison saying "there was no issue for us."

The trial was adjourned to February 4.

The defendants are charged with murder and attempted murder of policemen, torching government buildings, breaking into prison and helping prisoners escape. 

Mursi, ousted by the army in July 2013 after mass protests against his rule, is implicated in a group of other court cases. He is being tried for inciting the killing of protesters outside the presidential palace during his tenure in December 2012, insulting the judiciary, and espionage.

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