For­mer pres­i­dent of Egypt given 20-year sen­tence over deaths

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

An Egyptian crim­i­nal court on Tues­day sen­tenced ousted Is­lamist Pres­i­dent Mo­hammed Morsi to 20 years in pri­son over the killing of pro­test­ers in 2012, the first ver­dict to be is­sued against the coun­try’s first freely elected leader.

The Cairo Crim­i­nal Court is­sued the ver­dict as Morsi and other de­fen­dants in the case — mostly Mus­lim Brotherhood lead­ers — stood in a sound­proof glass cage in­side a makeshift court­room at Egypt’s na­tional po­lice academy.

The case stems from vi­o­lence out­side the pres­i­den­tial palace in De­cem­ber 2012. Morsi’s sup­port­ers at­tacked op­po­si­tion pro­test­ers, spark­ing clashes that killed at least 10 peo­ple.

Judge Ahmed Youssef dropped mur­der charges and said the sen­tence was linked to the “show of force” and un­law­ful detention as­so­ci­ated with the case.

In ad­di­tion to Morsi, 12 Brotherhood lead­ers and Is­lamist sup­port­ers, in­clud­ing Mo­hammed elBelt­agy and Es­sam el-Erian, also were sen­tenced to 20 years in pri­son.

Morsi and the rest of the de­fen­dants raised the four-fin­ger sign sym­bol­iz­ing the sit- in at the Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque, where hun­dreds were killed when se­cu­rity forces vi­o­lently dis­persed the sprawl­ing sit-in by Morsi’s sup­port­ers on Aug. 14, 2013.

Morsi faces sev­eral other tri­als along with thou­sands of Mus­lim Brotherhood mem­bers fol­low­ing the mil­i­tary over­throw­ing him in 2013.

Morsi was ousted fol­low­ing demon­stra­tions by mil­lions of peo- ple call­ing on him to leave of­fice.

Morsi is now held at a high se­cu­rity pri­son near the Mediter­ranean city of Alexan­dria. His incarceration there fol­lowed four months of detention at an undis­closed lo­ca­tion.

In past ses­sions, Morsi and most of the de­fen­dants turned their backs to the court when Youssef played sev­eral video record­ings of the clashes out­side the palace in 2012.

AP

In this May 8, 2014 file photo, Egypt’s ousted Is­lamist Pres­i­dent Mo­hammed Morsi sits in a de­fen­dant cage in the Po­lice Academy court­house in Cairo, Egypt.

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