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Updated: Mon, 04 Nov 2013 06:03:43 GMT | By The Associated Press, cbc.ca

Mohammed Morsi rejects proceedings against him



Under Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's new powers, any laws he has made since he took office back in June and any laws in the immediate future are final and cannot be appealed to the judiciary until a new constitution is approved. Maya Alleruzzo/Associated Press

Under Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's new powers, any laws he has made since he took office back in June and any laws in the immediate future are final and cannot be appealed to the judiciary until a new constitution is approved. Maya Alleruzzo/Associated Press

Egyptian security officials say ousted president Mohammed Morsi has told the court trying him for inciting violence and murder that he remains the "legitimate president" of the country.

The officials, who are inside the courtroom for the start of the trial Monday, say Morsi also said he rejects the proceedings against him.

His  comments came in response to a judge calling his name out after identifying him as a "defendant."

Morsi replied: "I am Dr. Mohammed Morsi, the president of the republic. I am Egypt's legitimate president."

He added: "I refuse to be tried by this court."

Egypt's state TV reported the judge in the trial for Morsi and 14 others suspended the hearing for about an hour soon after it started, two hours later than scheduled, because the defendants' chants were disrupting the proceedings.

The move followed unruly behaviour from the prisoners inside a cage in the courtroom, tweeted CBC's Derek Stoffel from Egypt.

Security officials say the delay was caused by Morsi's insistence not to change into the prison uniform customarily worn by defendants, part of his refusal to recognize the trial's legitimacy.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

The official MENA news agency says Morsi, who has been held at a secret military location since his ouster in a July coup, was flown by helicopter earlier Monday to the venue of his trial — a police academy in eastern Cairo.

He and 14 senior members of his Muslim Brotherhood are on trial on charges stemming from a riot last December outside Morsi's Cairo palace that left at least 10 dead.

They could all face the death penalty if convicted.

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