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Muslim Brotherhood leaders, former president Mubarak face trial in Egypt

Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and three leaders of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood faced separate court hearings Sunday on similar charges related to the killing of protesters.

Local Egyptian media seized on the symbolism of scheduling both the Mubarak and Brotherhood court sessions on the same day. The headline in the Al-Shorouk daily read: "Trial of two regimes.”

Mubarak, who was sentenced to life in prison in June 2012, faces a retrial on charges that he was complicit in the killing of hundreds of demonstrators during a 2011 uprising.

The Brotherhood leaders, Mohamed Badie, Khairat al-Shater and Rashad Bayoumy, reportedly did not show up to their hearing Sunday due to security concerns. The three face charges of allegedly inciting the killings. Their hearing was rescheduled for October 29.

Egypt is currently under a military-installed government after the July deposition of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, who was affiliated with the Brotherhood.

An estimated 1,000 people, as well as 100 soldiers and police, have died as a result of the violence in Egypt since Morsi’s ouster.

But the Brotherhood contends that they are a peaceful movement and have been wrongfully targeted by the generals who removed Morsi.

Meanwhile, Mubarak was reportedly flown by helicopter to court from a military hospital and sat in a defendant’s cage with his two sons, Alaa and Gamal, who also face charges along with Mubarak’s interior minister Habib al-Adly and six other top aides.

Mubarak, who arrived in a wheelchair and dressed in a white tracksuit and black sunglasses, has been under house arrest since his release from prison on Thursday.

In January, Egypt’s Court of Cassation approved of the appeals by Mubarak and Adly and ordered a retrial.

Judges ordered the former strongman released from prison earlier this month, but a declaration of a state of emergency by the Egyptian government allowed officials to place Mubarak under house arrest, apparently to quell any public outrage if he had walked free from prison.

After the three hour hearing Sunday, Judge Mahmoud Kamel Al-Rashid scheduled the next hearing for Sept. 14.

The Egyptian military has argued that their involvement with the shootings was a response to the will of the people.

Reuters contributed to this report