By Gareth Jones and Alissa de Carbonnel KIEV (Reuters) - Anti-government protesters toppled a statue of Soviet state founder Vladimir Lenin in Ukraine's capital and attacked it with hammers on Sunday in a symbolic challenge to President Viktor Yanukovich and his plans for closer ties with Russia. The gesture rejecting Moscow's historic influence over Ukraine came after opposition leaders told hundreds of thousands of demonstrators on Kiev's Independence Square to keep up pressure on Yanukovich to sack his government.
The leader of the Muslim Brotherhood appeared in court on Monday for the first time since he was arrested in a state crackdown on the group following the army overthrow of President Mohamed Mursi. Brotherhood General Guide Mohamed Badie, 70, denied his group had perpetrated any violence, speaking from the cage reserved for defendants where he appeared with other prominent Islamists including Mohamed el-Beltagi and Essam el-Erian. "Why aren't you investigating the murder of my son, and the burning of my house and the groups' offices?" said Badie, referring to his 38-year old son killed in August 17 protests ignited by the violent dispersal of Brotherhood sit-ins. The case being heard on Monday relates to violence that flared in mid-July near a Brotherhood protest camp at Cairo University.