Lawyer appeals Morsi's 20-year jail verdict

Marina Barsoum , Thursday 18 Jun 2015

The former Islamist president was sentenced to 20 years over inciting violence during 2012 protests in April, in the first verdict in one of five cases against him since his ouster in 2013

Egypt's ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi gestures in a defendants cage at the Police Academy courthouse in Cairo, Egypt (Photo: AP)

Islamist president Mohamed Morsi's lawyer on Thursday appealed a 20-year-prison verdict against the former leader over inciting violence during protests against his rule in December 2012, he has told Ahram Online.

"We are unable to communicate with the ousted president, but I have an authorisation from him to take the necessary decisions when needed," said lawyer Abdel-Monem Abdel-Maqsoud, who explained that the appeal was his decision.

In April, a Cairo court sentenced Morsi to 20 years in jail for inciting violence that led to the death of ten people in clashes outside the Ittihadiya presidential palace on 5 December 2012, the first verdict in one of five trials against him since his ouster in July 2013.

Under Egyptian law, all necessary appeal documents must be submitted to the Court of Cassation, Egypt's highest court of appeal, within 60 days of the verdict, Abdel-Maqsoud told Ahram Online.

In the Ittihadiya case, the 60 days would have been over by the beginning of next week, so he had to take the decision on Morsi's behalf, he said.

Morsi's defence team had been undecided on the issue, as Morsi does not recognise the court that issued the April verdict, he said.

The team had previously filed a complaint stating that the court did not have the jurisdiction to conduct the trial, but it was rejected.

In the Ittihadiya case, Morsi faced charges of inciting his supporters and aides to "commit murder", "use violence and thuggery", as well as "illegally detain protesters and torture them".

Fourteen other defendants, including Muslim Brotherhood leading figures Mohamed El-Beltagy and Essam El-Erian, also received 20-year sentences on the same charges, while Ali Gamal Saber and Abdel-Hakim Abdel-Rahman received 10 years.

On Tuesday, the former president was also sentenced to death over a 2011 jail break, and to life in prison – 25 years under Egyptian law – on charges on conspiring with foreign powers including Hizbollah and Hamas.

Morsi is yet to recieve a verdict in the "Qatar espionage case", in which he is charged of using his post as president to leak classified documents to Qatar. 

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