Court up­holds life sen­tence for Morsi in Qatar case

Muscat Daily - - REGION -

Cairo, Egypt - A top court on Satur­day up­held a life sen­tence against Egypt’s ousted Is­lamist pres­i­dent Mo­hamed Morsi on charges stem­ming from a trial over spy­ing for Qatar, a ju­di­cial of­fi­cial and his lawyer said.

The court of cas­sa­tion up­held a life sen­tence first passed in June 2016 on the charge of lead­ing an il­le­gal group but threw out a 15-year sen­tence on the charge of hav­ing stolen se­cret doc­u­ments, his lawyer Ab­del Moneim Ab­del Maq­sud said.

A life sen­tence in Egypt amounts to 25 years in prison, and the court’s rul­ings can­not be ap­pealed.

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

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.

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.

Qatar has de­nied the charges.

Qatar is cur­rently em­broiled in a cri­sis with Egypt, Saudi Ara­bia and the United Arab Emi­rates which are boy­cotting the small Gulf emi­rate for its sup­port for the Broth­er­hood, among other ac­cu­sa­tions.

Morsi, who came to power af­ter the 2011 up­ris­ing that top­pled long­time strong­man Hosni Mubarak, was elected in 2012 and ruled for a year be­fore his ouster.

His 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.

A court over­turned a death sen­tence in another trial over prison breaks and vi­o­lence dur­ing the 2011 re­volt, pend­ing a re­trial.

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

Since his ouster, Egypt has been bat­tling an in­sur­gency by an Is­lamic State (IS) group af­fil­i­ate based in North Si­nai that has killed hun­dreds of po­lice­men and sol­diers and dozens of Cop­tic Chris­tians.


This file photo shows Mo­hamed Morsi, wear­ing a red uni­form, ges­tur­ing from be­hind the bars dur­ing his es­pi­onage trial on June 18, 2016

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