Cairo court issues death sentence against ousted president Morsi

Ahram Online , Tuesday 16 Jun 2015

Ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi
Ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi sits behind glass in a courtroom, in a converted lecture hall in the national police academy in an eastern Cairo (Photo: AP)

Former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi was sentenced to death on Tuesday over a prison break in 2011, a verdict that confirmed a preliminary judgement issued in May.

The verdict can be appealed.

The court sentenced a total of 99 people, including Morsi, to death. Only six who received the death sentence are in custody. While 93 others were sentenced in absentia, as they are currently at large.

Those sentenced to death in custody include Mohamed Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie, as well as leading Brotherhood members Saad El-Katatni, Rashad Bayoumi and Essam El-Erian.

Prominent Egyptian Qatar-based cleric and Brotherhood supporter Youssef El-Qaradawi was among those handed a death sentence in absentia.

On 16 May, the court issued a preliminary death sentence against Morsi and 105 other defendants in the jailbreak case, after which their papers were referred to the grand mufti, a senior Muslim cleric, for a consultative review as required by Egyptian law.

The mufti's advice regarding the death sentence is not legally binding.

In the Wadi Natroun jailbreak case, the prosecution charged Morsi and 130 co-defendants, many tried in absentia, with damaging and setting fire to prison buildings, murder, attempted murder, looting prison weapons depots and releasing prisoners while escaping from the prison during the January 2011 revolution.

According to the prosecution, the prisoners who escaped include members of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and Hezbollah, as well as jihadists and criminals.

Prosecutors said that over 800 fighters from Gaza had infiltrated Egypt and used rocket-propelled grenades and weapons to storm three prisons, abducting four policemen and killing several others.

Also on Tuesday, The same court sentenced Morsi to life in prison for charges related to espionage with foreign powers - including Hamas, Lebanon's Hezbollah and Iran's Revolutionary Guards - to destabilise Egypt.


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