Egypt's deposed president Mohamed Morsi charged he was being muzzled in a soundproof dock at the start of his trial on espionage charges Sunday, as his defense lawyers staged a protest walk-out.
According to AFP, the court adjourned the trial, the third for the Islamist since his July 3 ouster, to February 23 to allow the lawyers' syndicate to appoint new lawyers.
Morsi, who has shouted that he was Egypt's legitimate and elected president in hearings of other trials against him, said the court was trying to silence him.
"We are in a farce, all this because you are afraid of me. You are afraid that the president speaks," Morsi cried out.
"If this farce continues, don't come to the court," Morsi told his defense.
Mohamed Selim al-Awa, a member of the defense team, told AFP: "We have withdrawn until the court removes the glass cage, we will not get in the room today."
The soundproof dock is designed to stop Morsi and the other defendants from interrupting the proceedings with outbursts. On Sunday, 20 defendants were brought to court, including Morsi, who was placed in a separate dock with a former aide, and the Brotherhood's supreme guide Mohamed Badie and his deputy Khairat al-Shater.
The accused include former presidential aides and renowned political scientist Emad Shahin, who is being tried in absentia.
The latest court case is part of a relentless government crackdown targeting Morsi and his Islamist supporters since he was ousted by the military after a single year in power.
Morsi and 35 others, including leaders of his Muslim Brotherhood, are accused of espionage "for the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood, its military wing and (Palestinian) Hamas movement."
If found guilty, the defendants could face the death penalty.
Morsi, who was Egypt's first democratically elected and civilian president, is already on trial for alleged involvement in the killing of opposition protesters in December 2012.
The ousted leader also faces trial for "insulting the judiciary". A date for that has yet to be set.
Explosion kills 4 tourists in Sinai
A bomb tore through a bus carrying South Korean tourists near an Egyptian border crossing with Israel on Sunday, killing at least four people and wounding 13, officials said, according to media reports.
The bombing marked the first attack on tourists since the ousting of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July sparked unrest across the country.
The bomb went off in the front section of bus carrying the tourists at Taba border crossing with Israel in south Sinai, the interior ministry said, adding that one of those killed was the Egyptian driver.
Health ministry spokesman Ahmed Kamel told AFP four people were killed in the explosion and 13 were injured.
The bomb peeled off the front of the yellow bus and tore out parts of the roof.
The interior ministry said in a statement the tourists had set off from Cairo and were waiting at the crossing to enter Israel when the explosion took place.
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