Egypt’s Morsy gets life in prison, death sentence upheld

Updated - November 17, 2021 02:11 am IST

Published - June 16, 2015 03:15 pm IST - CAIRO

Ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy. File photo

Ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy. File photo

An Egyptian court sentenced deposed President Mohamed Morsy to death on Tuesday over a mass jail break during the country's 2011 uprising and issued sweeping punishments against the leadership of Egypt's oldest Islamic group.

The general guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, and four other Brotherhood leaders were also handed the death penalty. More than 80 others were sentenced to death in absentia.

The Brotherhood described the rulings as "null and void" and called for a popular uprising on Friday.

Judge Shaaban el-Shami, said the Grand Mufti, Egypt's top religious authority, had said in his opinion that the death sentence was permissible for the defendants, who had been referred to him.

25-year sentence

Wearing his blue prison suit, the former President listened calmly as Judge Shami read out the verdict in the case relating to the 2011 mass jail break, in which Morsy faced charges of killing, kidnapping and other offences.

Judge Shami had earlier given the former president a 25-year sentence in a case relating to conspiring with foreign groups.

Morsy appeared unfazed, smiling, and waving to lawyers as other defendants chanted: "Down, down with military rule," after the verdicts, which can be appealed, were read out at the court session in the Police Academy.

"Nail in the coffin of democracy"

After Tuesday's sentencing, a senior Muslim Brotherhood member said the trial had "fallen below all international standards".

"This verdict is a nail in the coffin of democracy in Egypt," Yahya Hamid, a former minister in Morsy's Cabinet, told a news conference in Istanbul.

Morsy, Badie and 15 others were given life sentences — which under Egyptian law, means serving 25 years — for conspiring with the Palestinian group Hamas. They included senior Brotherhood figures Essam el-Erian and Saad el-Katatni.

"Diabolical aims"

The court sentenced Muslim Brotherhood leaders Khairat el-Shater, Mohamed el-Beltagy and Ahmed Abdelaty to death in the same case. Death sentences were also handed to 13 other defendants in absentia.

In reading his verdict, Shami said that the Brotherhood had a history of "grabbing power with any price" and had "legalised the bloodletting of the sons of this country and conspired and collaborated with foreign entities .... to achieve their diabolical aims".

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