Ousted Egyptian President Morsi was in court today but he was anything like down and out. Reports from the court paint a picture of a defiant man who still believes that he is rightfully President. Well-dressed and apparently well-fed Morsi refused to be beaten.
His arrival at court secured a round of applause from supporters. From that point on proceedings went downhill rapidly.
According to the Guardian Morsi bellowed ""What is happening now is a military coup," shortly after entering the courtroom, in the hectoring tone that Egyptians came to lampoon during his year-long presidency. "I am furious that the Egyptian judiciary should serve as cover for this criminal military coup."They were his first words in public since 2 July, when he gave a rambling televised speech the night before he was deposed by the army following days of mass protests in which millions of Egyptians had called for the military to intervene".
It did not take long for the court proceedings to become a rabble bordering on a riot. Morsi is charged with incitement to murder. He was in court with seven co-defendants. They began to chant, journalists in the court to report the trial shouted for Morsi's execution, or rather for him to receive the death penalty, and chaotic secenes followed.
Morsi was only in court for a preliminary hearing. Imagine the mayhem that could descend when the trial begins.
In the end Monday the judge had to adjourn the court before utter bedlam broke out. The case will resume January 8. Monday Morsi and his co defendant's refused to acknowledge the court had any right to try them.
Morsi was elected as President. This means that he is right to declare the military who removed him from power as staging a coup. Technically he is right. Technically also he is President if you expect Egyptians to follow western ideas of democracy. He should be voted out of office in due course if the elctorate is so inclined.
Egypt is not a western nation though. Those in the west who believed the revolution of the Arab Spring would lead to peace in the country were naive.
The west played a part in the overthrow of President Mubarek so perhaps now it should be assisting Egypt. Lingering doubts and questions such as "Was western interference to help Egyptians or Israelis?" refuse to go away.
How the west can help now is the big money question though.