File Photo: Egypt's ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi stands behind the bars during his trial in Cairo, June 16, 2015. (Photo: AFP)
Cairo Criminal Court has sentenced Islamist former president Mohamed Morsi and 18 others to three years in prison for "insulting the judiciary."
The court handed its sentences to 14 defendants, including Morsi and Brotherhood figures Saad El-Katatny and Sobhi Saleh, who were present in court.
Fugitive Salafist preacher Wagdy Ghoneim and Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya leader Assem Abdel-Maged were also handed the same sentences among others, in absentia.
Morsi was also ordered to pay a EGP 1 million ( approximately $56,270) as a fine.
The defendants were convicted of “insulting and cursing the judiciary and its judges using publications and statements to TV and radio stations, as well as social media, using statements that carry slurs and hatred to courts and judicial authority.”
Since his ouster and arrest in 2013, Morsi has faced a number of trials on charges that include conspiring with foreign powers — including Hamas, Lebanon's Hizbullah and Iran's Revolutionary Guards — to destabilise Egypt. He has had a life sentence upheld against him by Egypt’s Court of Cassation last September in what is known as the "Qatar espionage case."
The court also ordered ordered that five defendants in the case, which includes leftist activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah and academic and liberal activist Amr Hamzawy, pay a fine of EGP 30,000 (approximately $1,688). No prison terms were handed to them by the court.
Abdel-Fattah is already serving a five year prison term over his participation in an illegal protest in 2013.
The sentences can still be appealed.