AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo
In this Friday, July 13, 2012 photo, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi holds a joint news conference with Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki, unseen, at the Presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt. Egypt's Islamist president may look like he's running out of options as he faces an appeals court strike and massive opposition protests over decrees granting himself near absolute power. Will he back down now? Most likely not. Mohammed Morsi's next move may be to raise the stakes even higher. Signs are growing the constitutional panel at the heart of the showdown could vote on a draft this week despite a walkout by liberal and Christian members. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo) The Associated Press
The judge in the trial of Egypt's deposed Islamist president and 14 others charged with inciting murder adjourned the case until Jan. 8 soon after it started today to allow the defence time to review evidence.
The move followed a delay in proceedings due to chants from the defendants and then a defiant statement from Morsi, who refused to recognize the court's authority.
His comments came in response to the 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 suspended the hearing for about an hour after it started two hours later than scheduled, because of the defendants' unruly behaviour inside a courtroom cage, CBC's Derek Stoffel reported from Egypt.
Security officials say the delay was caused by Morsi's insistence not to change into the white prison uniform customarily worn by defendants, part of his refusal to recognize the trial's legitimacy.
Morsi finally relented and put on the uniform after refusing to change out of his own clothes all morning, Stoffel said.
Egypt's state TV aired footage Monday of Morsi arriving in court in the first images captured of him since he was ousted. One clip shows Morsi arriving in a minibus outside the courtroom, buttoning up his dark blue jacket as he steps out of the vehicle. He is flanked by burly policemen. Another clip shows his co-defendants standing in two lines like a guard of honour and applauding Morsi as he joins them in the defendants' cage.
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.
Reuters quoted a security source as saying the defendants will be moved to Cairo's Tora prison.
Morsi 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.