Egypt court jails Brotherhood leader, cleric for 20 years

September 09, 2014 06:38 pm | Updated November 16, 2021 08:52 pm IST - Cairo

In this August 7, 2014 photo, Muslim Brotherhood's senior member Mohamed El-Beltagy gestures behind bars and glass panels from the defendant's cage, at a courtroom in Cairo.

In this August 7, 2014 photo, Muslim Brotherhood's senior member Mohamed El-Beltagy gestures behind bars and glass panels from the defendant's cage, at a courtroom in Cairo.

A leader of Egypt’s outlawed Muslim Brotherhood and an Islamist cleric were on Tuesday sentenced to 20 years in jail for attempting to kill and torture two policemen and leading a terrorist organisation.

Mohamed El-Beltagy and cleric Safwat Hegazy were convicted by a Cairo Criminal Court of attempting to kill two policemen during protests against the Military’s ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsy in July 2013.

The duo were found guilty of torturing the policemen at Cairo’s Rabaa Al-Adaweya sit-in and were given a 10-year jail term. The demonstrations at Rabaa al-Adawiya were crushed by security forces, who killed hundreds of people.

Additional 10-year terms were given for “being in command of a terrorist group”.

Egyptian officials, who call the Brotherhood a terrorist organisation, have often said that some protesters were armed and fired at police and soldiers.

Two others, Mahmoud Zanati and Abdul Azeem Mohamed, who treated wounded protesters at a field hospital during the clashes, were sentenced to fifteen years and a fine of 100,000 pounds each was imposed on them, reported Al-Bawaba news website.

The policemen were on duty during the protests last year when they were kidnapped by the convicts, the assistant of the victims said.

Beltagy, a vocal critic of Mursi’s overthrow, faces several legal cases. He has been given life sentence for inciting violence following Mr. Morsy’s removal.

The overthrow was orchestrated by former Army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who went on to become Egypt’s elected President.

Hegazy, arrested last August while trying to cross into Libya, was a supporter of the Brotherhood and its media adviser.

Many Brotherhood supporters were killed and thousands were arrested after Mr. Morsy was toppled following mass protests against his rule.

In another case, Giza Criminal Court sentenced prominent salafist leader Hazem Salah Abu Ismail to a year in prison for insulting policemen.

In December 2012, Abu Ismail appeared in a YouTube video and insulted policemen and the then Minister of Interior Ahmed Gamal El-Din.

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