A defiant Mohammed Morsi called himself the legitimate president of Egypt in a hearing Monday that was adjourned shortly after it was convened because of chaos inside the courtroom.
Morsi was last seen in July when a military-backed ouster removed him from power; he has been held at a secret military location ever since. He arrived in court on Monday at a police academy in eastern Cairo, charged along with 14 other members of the Muslim Brotherhood of inciting killings during violence outside of the Presidential Palace last December, and declared, “I am Egypt’s legitimate president. I refuse to be tried by this court,” the Associated Press reports.
The hearing quickly devolved into chaos, according to courtroom reports, with Morsi’s co-defendants and their lawyers chanting against the army and anti-Morsi journalists calling for the death penalty. Morsi repeatedly shouted, “I am the president of the republic” amid scuffles between lawyers, and someone tried to throw a shoe. After only a few minutes, the hearing was adjourned until Jan. 8.