A man accused of stabbing a pregnant Egyptian woman to death inside a German courtroom has gone on trial.

The defendant, 29-year-old Alex W., had earlier been fined for calling Marwa Sherbini "a terrorist" and "Islamist."

He is alleged to have smuggled a kitchen knife into the appeal hearing at which Sherbini was killed.

The attack in July sparked outrage in the Muslim world, with protests in Egypt, Iran and Turkey.

Alex W. is accused of murder, attempted murder and assault causing dangerous bodily harm.

At the start of the hearing he was fined $75 by the judge, Birgit Wiegand, for refusing to remove his sunglasses.

The trial is taking place amid tight security in the same courtroom in Dresden as the stabbing.

The case began when Sherbini, a pharmacist, got involved in an argument with the defendant at a playground in 2008.

She is said to have asked him to let her child use a swing he was sitting on. He allegedly refused and called her abusive names.

Sherbini took the defendant to court and he was fined $1,177 for defamation.

When the Russian-born German national returned to court for the appeal on July 1 this year, he stabbed her at least 16 times with a knife.

The 31-year-old, who was three-months pregnant with her second child, bled to death. Her husband was injured as he tried to protect her.

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