|Mohamed Morsi in the court room|
Cairo Court has issued on Tuesday, 16 June, two verdicts in the cases against Egypt’s former Islamist backed President Mohamed Morsi and several others prominent members of Muslim Brotherhood as well.
Thus, Egypt’s Court has confirmed the death sentences for Mohamed Morsi in the Wadi Al-Natroun prison break case and sentenced Egypt’s former head to life in prison in the espionage case.
Mohamed Morsi along with other members of Muslim Brotherhood group, which was declared a terrorist organization and forbidden in Egypt after ouster of Morsi, was charged with damaging and setting fire on the prison buildings, he was also accused of murder and attempted murder, looting prison weapon’s storages and releasing of hundreds of the prison’s inmates and the prison break in Wadi Al-Natroun prison, which occurred during January 25 revolution in 2011.
A total number of 129 people stood the trial in this case, while only 27 of them remain in custody. All other defendants were tried and sentenced in absentia.
Mohamed Morsi and other prominent Muslim Brotherhood leaders, including Mohamed Badie, Essam El-Erian and Saad El-Katatni, were sentenced to death in this case in the middle of May. The court’s verdict was sent then to Egypt’s Grand Mufti for review and approval. The court sentenced 99 people, among them 93 people in absentia, to death. After Grand Mufti approved the decision of the Cairo Court, the judges declared their final verdict on Tuesday, 16 June. Thus, Mohamed Morsi along with other prominent Muslim Brotherhood and Islamist figures was sentenced to death in the prison beak case. Prominent Islamist preacher Youssef Al-Qaradawy, who resides currently in Qatar, was also sentenced to death in absentia.
In addition to that the defendants should also pay L.E. 250 million as a compensation to Egypt’s Ministry of Interior.
This verdict can be appealed at the Court of Cassation by the defense team.
Another case which was viewed by the Cairo’s Court on Tuesday, 16 June, was the so called Espionage case. Mohamed Morsi along with his aides Mohamed Badie, Essam El-Erian, Khairat El-Shater, Ahmed Abd El-Aty and Mohamed El-Beltagy and many other Muslim Brotherhood members were accused of spying and conspiring for the foreign powers including Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in order to destabilize situation in Egypt.
Morsi and 16 other co-defendants were sentenced to life in prison in this case, which is 25 years according to the Egyptian penalty code. Mohamed Morsi was charged of the espionage together with 35 other persons. 12 of the defendants received death sentences in this case, all of them were tried and sentenced in absentia.
This verdict can be also appealed in the Court of Cassation.
Mohamed Morsi also stands trials for several other criminal cases, two of them are currently ongoing.
It is worth mentioning that Mohamed Morsi along with other Muslim Brotherhood figures was sentenced to 20 years in prison in the Presidential Palace clashes case. The court session was held in April 2015. Mohamed Morsi and his co-defendants were accused of inciting violence and murder during the clashes in front of the Presidential Palace in December 2012 which left dozens people dead. This sentence can be also appealed by the defense team.
Meanwhile the recent sentences for Mohamed Morsi and other Islamist figures in Egypt sparked many negative reactions inside of Egypt and in other countries as well, as many accused this decision as politically motivated. Thus, US expressed their deep concerns regarding the death sentences for Mohamed Morsi calling it politically motivated sentence. Turkey in its turn also accused current Egyptian government of political oppression and strongly criticized Morsi’s sentences.