Turkey's Erdogan condemns Morsi's confirmed death sentence

Reuters , Ahram Online , Tuesday 16 Jun 2015

A Cairo court on Tuesday upheld a death sentence against the ousted Islamist president and 99 others in the Wadi Natroun jailbreak case

In this Thursday, March 12, 2015 file photo, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks to the media during a press conference in Ankara, Turkey (Photo: AP)

Death sentences against Egypt's deposed president Mohamed Morsi and leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood are a "massacre of law and basic rights", Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday.

"We call on the international community to act to withdraw these death sentences, given under the instructions of the coup regime, and to put an end to this path which could seriously endanger the peace of Egyptian society," Erdogan said in a statement.

On Tuesday, a Cairo court upheld a death sentence against Morsi and 99 others in the 2011 Wadi Natroun jailbreak case, in which the prosecution had charged the defendants with "damaging and setting fire to prison buildings", "murder", "attempted murder", "looting prison weapons depots" and "releasing prisoners".

The Turkish president has previously criticised the preliminary death sentence issued against Morsi and 105 others on 16 May, saying they were tantamount to a return to "Ancient Egypt".

Relations between Egypt and Turkey have been strained since Egypt's army ousted Morsi, an ally of Erdogan, following mass protests against his presidency in July 2013. Erdogan has repeatedly called for the Morsi's release from detention. 

The deposed Islamist president was also sentenced to life in prison over charges of espionage for Hamas and Hizbollah on Tuesday, as well as to 20 years in April for inciting violence against protesters outside the Ittihidiya Palace in December 2012. 

In two ongoing trials, the former Brotherhood president also faces charges of passing on sensitive documents to Qatar, and contempt of court.

Cairo has objected to Ankara's criticism, as well as to the country hosting several leading figures of the Brotherhood, a banned group in Egypt since 2013.

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