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Egypt hits back at critics of Morsi death ruling

The State Information Service on Sunday railed against critics of the mass death sentences handed out Saturday, saying all defendants were afforded fair trials

Ahram Online , Sunday 17 May 2015
Ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi
Ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi raises his hands as he sits behind glass in a courtroom, in a converted lecture hall in the national police academy in an eastern Cairo suburb, Egypt, Saturday, May 16, 2015 (Photo: AP)
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Views: 4163

Egypt's State Information Service (SIS) condemned Sunday the wave of criticism that followed the death sentence passed Saturday against former president Mohamed Morsi and other defendants, saying the reactions of critics reflected "ignorance and inaccuracy."

Cairo Criminal Court handed a preliminary death sentence to Morsi and 105 other defendants in the trial known as the "Wadi Natroun jailbreak case." The court also issued the same ruling to Muslim Brotherhood leaders Mohamed El-Beltagy and Khairat El-Shater, along with 14 others, in the trial known as the "Hamas espionage case."

The SIS, the Egyptian state's official public relations agency, reiterated that these are not "verdicts" as the court has sent its decision in the Wadi Natroun case to the country's grand mufti, a senior Muslim cleric, for a consultative review as required by Egyptian law, setting 2 June as the date for a final verdict.

Most critics, however, referred to the rulings as final legal verdicts.

The SIS statement continued that the defendants were tried before a civil criminal court and not an special tribunal, which guarantees they received a fair trial, contrary to what doubters believe.

"In case death sentences were issued against the defendants in both trials ... all defendants have the right to appeal against the verdicts before the appeals court," the SIS statement said.

"If the appeal is accepted the sentences will be revoked and retrials will take place before a different court. And even if the new court returns death verdicts, the defendants will have the right to appeal for a second time."

The SIS called on critics to understand the situation and assess it objectively. It is also important, the statement reads, not to forget the nature of the charges levelled against the defendants.

The accusations include committing hostile acts against the country, attacking police facilities and officers and soldiers, breaking out of Egyptian prisons and sabotaging prision buildings, killing some prisoners and officers and soldiers premeditatedly, kidnapping officers and soldiers, and cooperating with foreign powers.

"Those who were arrested are accused of criminal acts that represent a violation of Egyptian law, and they are the same criminal charges in accordance to the laws in the other countries that ostensibly apply democratic principles," the SIS statement reads.

The Muslim Brotherhood, from which Morsi hails and that now is listed as a terrorist organisation, and allies strongly condemned the court rulings against Morsi and other defendants.

The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy, a pro-Morsi coalition, issued a statement following the verdict saying that they "reject the principle of prosecuting the country's elected president Mohamed Morsi."

The Palestinian Hamas, a sister organisation of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood that is incriminated in the jailbreak case, condemned the death sentences meted out against a number of its members, describing the verdicts as "unfortunate and shocking."

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu-Zuhri said in a statement that the verdict was based on "false information," adding that some of the convicted had died before the Egyptian revolution, such as "martyrs Tayseer Abu-Senema and Hossam El-Sanea," while others have been in the "prisons of the occupation for years," such as Hassan Salama, who has been imprisoned for 19 years in Israel.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also condemned the death sentence handed out to Morsi, saying it represented a return to "ancient Egypt," AFP reported.

"The popularly-elected president of Egypt ... has unfortunately been sentenced to death. Egypt is turning back into ancient Egypt," Erdogan said at a rally in Istanbul, accusing the West of "turning a blind eye" to what he described as the 2013 coup that ousted Morsi.

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20-05-2015 06:08am
Who is The real Hero and who is the real pharaoh
Mursi is the real hero and as sisi is the real pharaoh in this millenium, history will prove it, the name of mursi will be remembered as hero of islam like omar mukhtar the hero of libya, and the name of assisi will be vanish or remembered enemy of god, God Bless U Mursi and God will throw As Sisi in hell
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17-05-2015 08:17pm
Someone put this terrorist on a diet plan.
At this rate he will die of obesity way before his prison term expire... May be less pork could help him.
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Ahmed Saddat
18-05-2015 05:28pm
inconvenient truth
@Allen and Iman: Once all MB members are killed everyone will realize that none of Egypt's problems will be solved. I hope you won't be an exception.

17-05-2015 08:04pm
It is about time this terrorist, power-hungry looser, who has caused so much division and fitnah amongst the Egyptian Muslims gets what he deserves. I hope Egyptian government doesn't listen to the clueless, naive, terrorist sympathizers of USA, Europe, Turkey, Qatar governments, or the arrogant idiots at "human rights groups" such as Ammnesty International. These people and governments think they have the right to interfere in other soverign countries affairs - well, they don't! Egypt needs to put these governments/organizations in their place, and Egypt needs to reaffirm it's sovereignty by hurrying up and executing Morsi, and all the other Muslim Brotherhood terrorists! It is time for Egypt to defeat these terrorists - who mascarade as Muslims, and who attempt to give Muslims a bad reputation - once and for all! Be firm, Egypt! Just do it (execute Morsi)!
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17-05-2015 06:11pm
Charges and Verdicts
Very good to see the charges against Morsi (and the others) outlined. This is the first newspaper (internet) I have seen do so. I wish others would do the same as the charges are very serious and merit serious, strong verdicts.
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17-05-2015 05:40pm
Mubarak is free even after murder of thousands of people, Sisi is free even after murder of thousands
Morsi is on death row because he is a Muslim.
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20-05-2015 12:58am
Preservation of the deep state and the Zionist state are the objectives
I think it was more to do with him symbolizing that the days of the oppressive military rule and their cronies and the free wheeling behaviour of the corrupt judiciary and police were coming to an end. Being a Muslim would not matter much if they can stay subservient to the wishes of Uncle Sam and their local agents the Zionists in Palestine. Sissy is also a Muslim but he is supportive of the US agenda and the Zionist agenda for that matter which is why we will not see any real challenge to his rule (misrule). On the other hand, Morsi, the FJP and the Muslim Brotherhood have a principled position on the question of Palestine which puts the rights of Palsetinians to freedom from occupation at the top of the list with regard to any resolution of this problem. This is why the US had to let him go at the expense of a throwback to military rule once again.

17-05-2015 03:38pm
Convoluted legal process
The SIS should not blame the “World” for being confused or “Ignorant and inaccurate” as the SIS states, if the Egyptian legal proceedings are confusing, illogical, and have no precedents in the civilized world. In most of the world, Court decisions are final subject to appeal, no Grand Mofti, Mulla, Pope, or Rabbi to overturn or change the decision. If we want to be a nation of laws and take “Islamism” out of politics we should take the steps to do so, and take the Mofti out of the legal process, where he does not belong.
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25-05-2015 03:50pm
Poor, Illiterate, and jobless
TERRENCE, you sound like a smart guy with healthy but misdirected cynicism. If you’re an Egyptian, put the US, Israel, and the Palestinians aside just for a moment, and think how can we cure Egypt’s ill (poverty, illiteracy, and unemployment)? This is more important than who runs the country or who’s supported by the US (by the way, the US hated Morsi and MB, they just accepted it because he was elected, just like Hamas). I urge you to put your smart thinning into solving our REAL problems vs. solving the unsolvable problem of Palestine under Hamas!
18-05-2015 11:40am
SIS is short for the SISsy the name of the military tyrant
The SIS have no clue what justice is about, leave alone the processes of fairness, perception of fairness, and rules of evidence. In the Egyptian system or what it has become after the counter-revolution by the military, every institution is co-opted by the rulers, just as it was during the military rules of Mubarak, Sadat and Nasser.

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