Egypt to rule on Islamists' mass trial on April 28

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Supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi chant slogans during a demonstration inside Ain Shams University in Cairo Egypt, Monday, March 24, 2014. A court in Egypt on Monday sentenced to death 529 supporters of Morsi on charges of murdering a policeman and attacking police, convicting them after only two sessions in one of the largest mass trials in the country in decades. (AP Photo/Roger Anis, El Shorouk) EGYPT OUT

MINYA, Egypt (AP) — An Egyptian judge says he will issue a verdict on April 28 in a new mass trial of 683 suspected Islamist supporters of the ousted president Mohammed Morsi for murder and attempted murder after a single session boycotted by defense lawyers.

Judge Said Youssef held trial in the city of Minya, south of Cairo, went ahead with the session on Tuesday, hearing witnesses in the case despite the lawyers' absence.

The same judge sentenced more than 520 defendants to death on Monday in a similar mass trial, which lasted only two sesssions.

Egyptian authorities are holding a series of mass trials as part of a months-long crackdown on Islamists and the Muslim Brotherhood since the military's July ouster of President Mohammed Morsi.