Egypt court sentences Brotherhood leaders to life in prison in Bahr El-Azam case

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Sunday 12 Aug 2018

Islamist leaders Mohamed Badie, Safwat Hegazy, Essam El-Erian, Mohamed El-Beltagy

The Supreme Guide of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group Mohamed Badie and eight leading members of the group were sentenced to life in prison on Sunday in a retrial for their role in deadly clashes in Giza following the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

The life sentence by a Cairo criminal court was handed down to Brotherhood leaders Mohamed El-Beltagy, Safwat Hegazy, Essam El-Erian and El-Husseini Antar. The court also sentenced Bassem Ouda, the former supply minister under president Morsi, to 15 years in prison.

The court also sentenced prominent Brotherhood figures Hisham Kamel, Gamal Fathi, and Ahmed Dahi to 10 years over charges of incitement to commit violent acts.

The incident, known in Egyptian media as the Bahr El-Azam case, stemmed from clashes on 15 July 2013 in Giza, which left dozens of people dead.

They were convicted of "inciting acts of violence, terrorism, and murder, forming groups to attack citizens, resisting authorities, and possessing ammunition and weapons to destroy state property." 

Sunday's sentence comes nearly four years after a different court district sentenced 15 leading figures of the banned group in September 2014 to 15 years in prison over the clashes.

Nine out of the 15 MB figures appealed the verdicts, winning their appeals later, which led the Appeals Court to cancel the ruling and order a retrial in front of the Cairo Criminal Court.

The convicted leaders have the right to appeal the court’s ruling.

Badie, the Brotherhood's leader in Egypt, as well as other Brotherhood leaders, have faced a barrage of trials since Morsi's ouster on charges ranging from terrorism to inciting violence, and have already received life sentences and the death penalty in other cases.

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