Egypt: Mohammed Morsi’s Death Sentence Upheld | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Egypt: Mohammed Morsi’s Death Sentence Upheld

Posted: Jun 17, 2015 at 9:17 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Egypt’s former president Mohammed Morsi has been sentenced to 25 years in jail for espionage, and has had a separate death sentence upheld by a court.

The ousted leader’s death sentence over a 2011 jailbreak, which was handed down last month, was confirmed by Judge Shaaban al Shami shortly after the verdict on the spying charges.

Morsi and his fellow defendants were convicted of killing and kidnapping policemen, attacking police facilities and breaking out of jail during the uprising against then-president Hosni Mubarak.

Meanwhile, a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood said the trial of the Egypt’s former president on Tuesday, had “fallen below all international standards.”

“This verdict is a nail in the coffin of democracy in Egypt,” Yahya Hamid, a former minister in Morsi’s cabinet and head of international relations for the Brotherhood, told a news conference in Istanbul.

Morsi became Egypt’s first freely-elected leader in June 2012 but was overthrown by the army a year later following mass protests.

He is currently serving a 20-year sentence following his conviction on April 21 on charges linked to the killing of protesters outside a Cairo presidential palace in December 2012.

The general guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, was also given the same sentence as Morsi in the espionage case, which related to conspiring with foreign groups.

These included Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, Lebanese militant group Hezbollah and Iran.

In total, 17 people have been given life sentences, including senior Brotherhood figures Essam el-Erian and Saad el-Katatni.

Muslim Brotherhood leader Khairat el Shater and two others were sentenced to death, while death sentences were handed to 13 other defendants in absentia.

All 35 defendants were convicted of spying on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood’s international organisation and Hamas from 2005 to August 2013 “with the aim of perpetrating terror attacks in the country in order to spread chaos and topple the state.”

Former army chief Abdel Fattah al Sisi, who is now president, claims the Muslim Brotherhood poses a grave threat to the country’s national security.

The group maintains it is committed to peaceful activism.

Since Morsi was ousted, the authorities have cracked down heavily on his supporters, leaving at least 1,400 people dead and more than 40,000 in custody, according to Human Rights Watch.

Hundreds have been sentenced to death in speedy mass trials, described by the UN as “unprecedented in recent history.”

The crackdown has also included secular and left-wing activists, who spearheaded the 2011 uprising that deposed President Mubarak.