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Morsi trial: Egypt security agent says 2011 uprising was CIA conspiracy

Egypt’s ousted President Mohamed Morsi attends a trial session in Cairo, Egypt on February 26, 2017 [Moustafa El Shemy/Anadolu Agency]
Egypt’s ousted President Mohamed Morsi attends a trial session in Cairo, Egypt on 26 February 2017 [Moustafa El Shemy/Anadolu Agency]

An Egyptian criminal court has adjourned the trial of former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi until 19 February so as to listen to the testimony of a security officer who claims the country's 2011 uprising was part of a CIA conspiracy.

The witness, Adel Azab, is a senior officer at the State Security Agency (now renamed the National Security Agency). He was responsible for Muslim Brotherhood-related affairs in the agency during the 25 January uprising in 2011 as part of the Arab Spring.

In the first part of his testimony, Azab said that the revolution – which ousted long-serving president Hosni Mubarak after 30 years of rule – was part of a grand conspiracy orchestrated by the CIA in coordination with the intelligence agencies of other Western powers, including Britain, France and Germany. He alleged that this grand plot was carried out by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the Middle East.

Azab alleged that the plot targeted the Middle East in general and Egypt in particular, with the aim of creating a state of chaos. He added that the plot also included the breach of Egypt's eastern borders and carrying out prison breaks. He claimed the plots lasted for seven years, starting in 2004 when the Brotherhood allegedly forged an agreement with representatives of the CIA and other Western intelligence agencies.

Part of the purported conspiracy was also to divide some Arab countries into smaller entities and to subject them to Turkey, Iran and Qatar, all of which Azab alleged were among the plotters.

READ: Egypt court orders retrial of Mubarak-era interior minister

He said that this was not the first time Western powers had carried out a conspiracy like this, arguing that a similar scenario took place in Afghanistan. He placed the alleged plot in the context of an ongoing US effort since then-US President George W. Bush vowed to wage a "War on Terror".

Morsi – who was ousted in a military coup in 2013 one year after being democratically elected to govern the country – is being tried along with 28 other defendants over prison breaks and the breach of Egypt's eastern borders during the 2011 revolution.

Morsi and the other defendants are now being retried, after the Court of Cassation in 2016 accepted an appeal filed against previous sentences issued in 2015 by a lower-degree court. The Cairo Criminal Court in 2015 had sentenced Morsi and other defendants to death. It also sentenced a number of defendants to life in prison.

READ: Morsi faces retrial in Hamas case

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