An Egyptian court has upheld a life sentence for former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in a case related to conspiring with foreign groups.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Badie was also sentenced to life. In Egypt’s legal system, a life sentence is understood as 25 years.
In total, 17 people were given life sentences. The court also sentenced the Muslim Brotherhood leader, Khairat el-Shater, and two others to death in the case. Death sentences were handed to 13 other defendants in absentia. The verdicts can be appealed against.
The judge is also expected, after a short recess, to give a ruling in a case related to a 2011 mass jail break.
Morsi was among over 100 people sentenced to death in May, in a case resulting from an escape from prison during the 2011 uprising that toppled president Hosni Mubarak.
Morsi and his colleagues were convicted of conspiring with Hamas, the Brotherhood’s Palestinian offshoot, who judges decided had helped the prisoners leave jail in January 2011.
The sentence was provisional, and needed the approval of the government’s most senior Islamic cleric. A final decision was due on 2 June, but was postponed.
Even if the execution is upheld, analysts doubt that the Egyptian regime will follow through with such a provocative act.
Morsi was Egypt’s first democratically elected president and was overthrown by the army in 2013. He has said the court is not legitimate, describing legal proceedings against him as part of a coup by former army chief Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in 2013. Sisi, now president, says the Brotherhood poses a grave threat to national security. The group maintains it is committed to peaceful activism.
At least 235 people were killed and another 109 injured in an attack on a Sufi mosque in Egypt's North Sinai region on Friday, Egyptian state-run media reported, in what appears to be the deadliest terror attack on Egyptian soil.
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