Egypt’s ousted president Mohamed Morsi has gone on trial in a new case over his alleged escape from prison in 2011.
He is charged with kidnapping and killing policemen after a jailbreak during the uprising against autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
Morsi, who faces trial in three other cases, angrily failed to recognise the court. At one point he asked the judiciary not to engage in political revenge.
Screaming at the judge, he said: “Who are you? Don’t you know who I am?”
“I am the chief of Egypt’s Criminal Court,” replied the judge. At other times Morsi, in a white training suit, paced in his cage.
Hours before the process began, gunmen shot dead a senior Interior Ministry official outside his home in Cairo. No one has claimed responsibility but authorities suspect Islamic rebels are behind the attack on General Mohamed Saeed.
The killing, plus violence a few days ago on the anniversary of the revolution, has sparked fears militants are stepping up their campaign against the state.
News that army chief Field Marshall Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is expected to soon announce his presidential bid is likely to further increase tensions and deepen hostility between the army and Islamists.
The Muslim Brotherhood accuses Sisi of staging a coup that has undermined democratic gains made since an uprising toppled autocrat Mubarak in 2011.
Hundreds of its supporters were killed in clashes with security forces across Egypt in August. In the violence since Morsi was deposed, hundreds of members of the security forces have also been killed.