CAIRO: Egypt’s first democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi was buried on Tuesday as calls mounted for an independent investigation into the causes of his death after he collapsed in a Cairo courtroom, reports AFP.
The Islamist leader, who was overthrown in 2013 after a year of divisive rule and later charged with espionage, was buried at a cemetery in eastern Cairo’s Medinat Nasr, one of his lawyers said.Abdel Moneim Abdel Maksoud said family members had washed Morsi’s body and prayed the last rites early Tuesday morning at the Leeman Tora Hospital.
That lies near the prison where Egypt’s first civilian president, a prominent Muslim Brotherhood member, had been held for six years in solitary confinement and deteriorating health.
The prosecutor general’s office said the 67-year-old leader had collapsed and “died as he attended a hearing” in a retrial hearing Monday over alleged collaboration with foreign powers and militant groups.
Abdel Maksoud told AFP only around 10 family members and close Morsi confidants were present, including himself.
An AFP reporter saw a handful of mourners entering the cemetery complex, accompanied by police officers, but journalists were prevented from entering the site.
The graveyard is in the same suburb as the largest massacre in Egypt’s modern history, the August 2013 crackdown on an Islamist sit-in at Rabaa Square, weeks after Morsi’s ouster by the military.Over 800 people were killed in a single day as security forces moved against protesters calling for Morsi’s reinstatement.
The attorney general’s office said Morsi, who appeared “animated”, had addressed the court Monday for five minutes before falling to the ground inside the defendants’ cage.
Another of Morsi’s lawyers, Osama El Helw, said other defendants had started banging loudly on the glass, “screaming loudly that Morsi had died”.
The attorney general said he had been “transported immediately to the hospital”, where medics pronounced him dead, a version of events confirmed by a judicial source.