Cairo - The three judges presiding in the trial of Muslim
Brotherhood chief Mohamed Badie and his aides withdrew from the proceedings on
Tuesday, citing "reasons of conscience".
Badie and his two deputies, Khairat al-Shater and Rashad
al-Bayoumi, face charges related to the deaths of protesters who stormed the
Brotherhood's Cairo headquarters on 30 June.
"The judges are retiring from this case for reasons of
conscience and the accused must remain in detention," head judge Mohammed
Fahmy al-Qarmuty told the court at the start of the session.
Lawyer for the accused Mohamed Damaty insisted "there
is no evidence at all in the case" and told AFP that the proceedings were
A total of 32 other defendants are being prosecuted along
with Badie, Shater and Bayoumi. None of the 35 were in the court on Tuesday,
when the second session of their trial began.
An official told AFP that the defendants were not brought to
the court for security reasons.
Badie, Shater and Bayoumi face charges of
"inciting" the murders of nine protesters on 30 June. If found
guilty, they face the death penalty.
Three other of the accused Islamists also face murder
charges while 29 are charged with participating in violence.
Millions of protesters on 30 June called for the ouster of
former president Mohammed Morsi, accusing him of working for the sole benefit
of the Brotherhood and of ruining an already dilapidated economy.
The army on 3 July ousted Morsi after the mass protests
against his one-year rule. He will face charges of incitement to murder in a
trial beginning on 4 November.