Sunday, 17 September 2017

Egyptian Court upholds life sentence against Ousted President Mohamed Morsi

A top Egyptian court upheld the life sentence for ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in a case revolving around state documents leaked to Qatar, a judicial official said.

The Court of Cassation ruling, which is final, overthrew a 15-year sentence for Morsi on charges of stealing the documents, handed during the initial sentencing.

But it upheld a life sentence of 25 years in prison on the charge of leading an illegal organisation, his lawyer Abdel Moneim Abdel Maqsud said.

The ruling came after lawyers appealed the initial 2016 sentencing.

According to Vanguard, the court also upheld death sentences for documentary producer Ahmed Ali Abdo, EgyptAir cabin crew member Mohamed Adel Kilani and university teaching assistant Ahmed Ismail Thabet, as well as a life term and 15 years for two others, the official said.

Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president, was overthrown by the military in July 2013 following mass protests against his one-year rule.

The trial hinged on accusations that the defendants had passed on state secrets to Qatar, an ally of Morsi’s Islamist government that has denounced his overthrow.

Morsi's year in office was divisive and millions had taken to the streets demanding his resignation before the army toppled and detained him.

He has been sentenced separately to 20 years in prison over deadly clashes between protesters and security forces outside his palace in December 2012.

Following Morsi’s overthrow, a police crackdown killed hundreds of protesters who supported him.

Egypt has also been battling an insurgency by an Islamic State group affiliate based in North Sinai that has killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers and dozens of Coptic Christians.

Courts have sentenced hundreds of Islamists to death, including other Muslim Brotherhood leaders, though many have appealed and been granted new trials.

Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood has been blacklisted as a terrorist group.

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