CAIRO - An Egyptian court on Wednesday set November 4 as the opening date for the trial of ousted president Mohamed Morsi on charges of inciting the murder of protesters, state media reported.
Morsi will stand trial with 14 other defendants over the killings of protesters outside his palace in December 2012, almost seven months before his ouster in a military coup, the official MENA news agency reported.
Trying Morsi, in detention since he was deposed on July 3, will likely inflame a protest movement by his Islamist backers, who clashed on Sunday with security forces leaving 57 people dead.
Prosecutors have charged Morsi with "inciting his supporters to commit premeditated murder" during the December 5 clashes outside his presidential palace. He will stand trial before a Cairo district court, MENA reported. At least seven people were killed in violence between the Islamist's loyalists and opponents that erupted after he passed a temporary decree placing his decisions beyond judicial review.
Meanwhile, Egypt's military chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi left the door open to a presidential run in elections next year, telling a paper published on Wednesday it was up to "God's will".
The general is easily the county's most popular political figure after he ousted president Mohamed Morsi and appointed an interim government in July, in response to mass protests demanding the Islamist's resignation.
"The matter you speak of is tremendous and significant," Sisi replied when asked in an interview with Al-Masry al-Yom whether he would stand for president.
"But I think the time is not right to ask this question, given the challenges and dangers facing the country which require we focus our efforts on achieving the plan for the future," he said.
Several former presidential candidates who lost out to Morsi in elections last year have said they would support Sisi if he stood for president.
According to the interim government's timetable, parliamentary and then presidential elections are due to be held by mid-2014.