By Marina Makary
The Cairo Criminal Court ordered a session for former president Mohamed Morsi’s espionage trial Tuesday be closed for “security reasons”, state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram reported.
The court, pursuant to its right according to the law, ordered a ban on publishing “to protect public and national security”. It also requested the clearing of the session of all attendees, except for the defendants and their defence team.
Morsi, alongside 10 other members of the Muslim Brotherhood, are charged with spying and leaking confidential general and military intelligence documents to Qatari intelligence and the Qatari satellite channel Al Jazeera.
Morsi had previously accused the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) of killing protesters during the 25 January Revolution, and up until he took power in June 2012.
The media gag imposed is not the first; there have been recent media gags on several other cases including: the killing of Shaimaa Al-Sabbagh, a female protester who was killed in January 2015 during a peaceful demonstration; the further findings in the case of Karim Hamdy, a lawyer who was killed due to torture in Matariya police station; and the case of Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis.
Morsi is currently in prison over several charges, including the killings of peaceful protesters, espionage, escaping from prison during the January 25 Revolution, and insulting the judiciary.
Egyptian-Qatari ties have been strained since Morsi’s ouster, with Egypt accusing Qatar of supporting the now banned Muslim Brotherhood, and using Al Jazeera network for this aim.