The Supreme Leader of the Muslim Brotherhood Dr Mohammed Badie said, during his trial yesterday, that the death sentence he received on Saturday does not scare him.
Badie and 50 other defendants are on trial charged with forming "an operations room to attack authorities" during the Rabaa sit-in. The trial has been adjourned by the Cairo Criminal Court until July 8, to hear witnesses.
After the judge allowed Badie to step out of the cage-like enclosure he was held in and address the panel, Badie said: "The death sentence does not scare me and I am not terrified to spend the rest of my life in jail, because I aspire to reach the highest level of jihad by following Prophet Mohammed's (PBUH) saying that the best of jihad is to say a word of truth in front of an unjust ruler."
He added that the military coup turned him from a victim into a defendant in front of the court, referring to the toppling of the government on July 3, and the killing of his son by a live bullet during a peaceful protest.
Badie condemned the death sentence handed down to him in absentia as he was not given the opportunity to defend himself. "This is absolute injustice, particularly that the accusations are unfounded," he told the panel of judges.
The Minya Criminal Court sentenced 183 defendants, including Badie, to death on charges of storming a police headquarters and killing a police officer following the violent dispersal of the Rabaa and Nahda sit-ins on August 14 which left thousands dead and wounded.
On Sunday, the Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat appealed all verdicts issued by the Minya court at the Court of Cassation, saying he was "keen on upholding due process and the proper application of the laws."