Death sen­tence for Morsi stands, Egyp­tian court rules

Los Angeles Times - - THE WORLD - By Amro Has­san Has­san is a spe­cial cor­re­spon­dent.

CAIRO — An Egyp­tian court up­held the death sen­tence of for­mer Pres­i­dent Mo­hamed Morsi that stems from a deadly 2011 mass prison break in which 20,000 in­mates were set free.

Mo­hamed Badie, leader of the Mus­lim Brother­hood group, and Mo­hamed Katatny, for­mer head of the par­lia­ment, were among 27 de­fen­dants who were sen­tenced to death on sim­i­lar charges Tues­day.

Ear­lier in the day, the same court sen­tenced Morsi, Badie and 15 oth­ers to life in prison in another case, in which de­fen­dants were con­victed of es­pi­onage.

The ver­dict came af­ter Morsi, Badie and more than 100 other Brother­hood lead­ers were sen­tenced to death last month. They had been found guilty of spy­ing and plot­ting a prison break amid na­tion­wide protests against Pres­i­dent Hosni Mubarak in Jan­uary 2011.

The Cairo Crim­i­nal Court then re­ferred the case to the coun­try’s grand mufti for a non­bind­ing re­view, an ac­tion that is com­pul­sory be­fore up­hold­ing death sen­tences in Egypt. The charges in­cluded con­spir­ing with for­eign groups such as the Pales­tinian Is­lamist group Ha­mas, the Le­banese mil­i­tant group Hezbol­lah and the Ira­nian Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Guard.

Tues­day’s court de­ci­sions up­held the death sen­tences of Brother­hood lead­ers Khairat Shater, Mo- hamed Belt­agy and Mo­hamed Ab­del Aati.

The death sen­tences, crit­i­cized by a num­ber of hu­man rights or­ga­ni­za­tions, were read dur­ing a tele­vised ses­sion dur­ing which Morsi, Badie and other de­fen­dants stood be­hind a glass cage in the court­room at a po­lice academy in New Cairo. Thir­teen oth­ers were given death sen­tences in ab­sen­tia.

Morsi was among those freed dur­ing the prison break, and in 2012 be­came Egypt’s first freely elected pres­i­dent. He is al­ready serv­ing a 20-year sen­tence af­ter his con­vic­tion on charges link­ing him to the deaths of de­mon­stra­tors at a protest dur­ing his ten­ure. All sen­tences can be ap­pealed by de­fen­dants’ lawyers or pros­e­cu­tors.

Ali Malki Al Masr y al Youm

FOR­MER Pres­i­dent Mo­hamed Morsi, seen dur­ing the read­ing of the ver­dict, had been found guilty of spy­ing and plot­ting a prison break amid protests in Egypt against Pres­i­dent Hosni Mubarak in Jan­uary 2011.

Be­lal Darder As­so­ci­ated Press

IN CAIRO, Mus­lim Brother­hood sup­port­ers chant slo­gans against the rul­ing on Morsi’s death sen­tence.

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