In a trial expected to last more than a year, 15 army officers are facing an array of charges stemming from a Dec. 3 military revolt in which 13 people were killed and nearly 60 wounded.
The charges include attempting to overthrow the government, murder, attempted murder, armed robbery and kidnapping.Federal Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo called in opening statements Monday for prosecution "to the fullest extent of the law" of retired Col. Mohamed Ali Seineldin and the others, who are accused of leading the 18-hour uprising.
Seineldin, in brief comments to reporters, said he hoped trial testimony will serve to reveal and "resolve problems existing among the armed forces."
During the revolt by about 500 mostly non-commissioned officers, rebel leaders insisted they only wanted changes in the leadership of the military.
The six-judge Federal Appeals Court is to hear testimony from more than 200 witnesses.
The cases were appealed to the civilian court from the The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the nation's highest military tribunal, which earlier found 13 of the defendants, including Seineldin, guilty of mutiny and rebellion and sentenced them to terms ranging from 12 years to life in prison.
Defense attorneys appealed the 13 convictions and the prosecution appealed the cases of two men who were absolved by the military tribunal.