World Bulletin/News Desk
Egypt's military prosecution has scheduled the trial of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie and 311 group members and supporters to January 11.
"The trial for Badie and the 311 others has been set for January 11 in [the northeastern province of] Ismailia over the arson of the Ismailia courts complex," a military source told The Anadolu Agency.
Earlier this month, Ismailia's public prosecutor referred the case to a military trial over charges of committing riots and violence on August 14, 2013, after the police dispersed major sit-ins in Rabaa al-Adawiyah and al-Nahda squares in Cairo and Giza.
They are also being charged with attacking Ismailia's court complex and setting the building ablaze.
The military prosecution included to the list of charges rioting and committing violent acts against police and military forces, which led to the death of ten people.
"The referral of Badie and other Muslim Brotherhood leaders to a military court is the first of its kind since the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi," a lawyer with Morsi's defense team told The Anadolu Agency.
"They were referred to a military court retroactively, which is legally unusual," he added.
The case was referred to a military court in line with a decree issued by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi in October tasking the army with guarding public facilities and vital state institutions for two years, during which these facilities would be treated as military facilities.
People accused of attacking or blocking the operation of these facilities would, thereupon, be referred to military courts.
Under the decree, incidents that occurred before the law was issued can still be subject to it as long as the prosecutor general did not decide on them.
International rights watchdog Human Rights Watch warned in November that such decree risks "militarizing" the prosecution of protesters and political dissidents.
The HRW insisted that military courts, which operate under the mantle of the Defense Ministry, typically deny defendants' rights accorded by civilian courts, including the right to be informed of the charges against them and the rights to access a lawyer and to be brought promptly before a judge following arrest.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 21 Aralık 2014, 17:22