An Egyptian court has opened and adjourned a second mass trial of 683 alleged supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi, including the Muslim Brotherhood\’s top leader, on charges of murder, incitement of violence and sabotage.
A lawyer said after just a few hours the trial of Mohamed Badie and the others was adjourned until April 28, when judgment and sentencing is expected.
Defense lawyers boycotted Tuesday\’s session of the trial to protest the verdicts issued Monday by the same court in the city of Minya. That court sentenced 529 Brotherhood members to death on charges of murdering a police officer, attacking a police station and other acts of violence.
The first trial took just two days, drawing international criticism over whether the proceedings were fair.
In Geneva, a U.N. official said a mass trial of 529 people conducted over two days could not have met the most basic requirements for a fair proceeding. U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Spokesman Rupert Coville said the trial was "rife with procedural irregularities" and "in breach of international human rights law."
The charges in the two trials are related to clashes in Minya last August. That violence erupted after security forces in Cairo broke up two Brotherhood protest camps, leaving hundreds of people dead.
They were protesting the army\’s ouster of president Mohamed Morsi, a Brotherhood member who has been in custody since he was removed from office in July and is facing several trials himself.
Egypt\’s interim authorities have cracked down on the Brotherhood, labeling it a terrorist group and arresting many of its leaders.
At least 1,400 people have been killed in the crackdown on Morsi\’s supporters and thousands more arrested, according to Amnesty International.
Morsi is himself currently on trial in three different cases. He was toppled by the army after a single year in power following mass protests demanding his resignation.