Military trial of Brotherhood members a 'farce,' group leader says

A prominent Muslim Brotherhood leader standing trial in a military court here on Monday decried the proceedings against him and 39 other senior members of the banned opposition group as an "ongoing farce." Khayrat el-Shater, third top chief of Egypt's largest and oldest Islamic group, was arrested along with 39 other prominent members of the movement last December. The trial against the 40 opened in April but the hearings are banned to media. Only few and close relatives are allowed to attend the proceedings at Haykstep military base on Cairo's outskirts. "The continuation of our imprisonment indicates the authoritarian nature of the regime and its political bankruptcy," Shater, 57, wearing a prison white jumpsuit, told reporters as he was brought under tight security to testify in a different case at a downtown court. "The military trial is an ongoing farce," he said, in a rare chance for public comment from the detained members.