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Egypt court sentences Morsi to life in spy trial

19th Jun 2016
Egypt court sentences Morsi to life in spy trial

CAIRO (AA): An Egyptian court on Saturday sentenced former President Mohamed Morsi to life in prison on charges of spying and leaking state secrets.

Morsi, along with 10 co-defendants, were accused by Egypt’s army-backed authorities of spying for Qatar and leaking classified documents to the Gulf statelet during his single year as president.

During Saturday’s trial session, the court confirmed the death penalty against six defendants, including two Al-Jazeera journalists, for allegedly spying for Qatar.

The court also sentenced Morsi to life on charges of leading a terrorist group – in reference to the Muslim Brotherhood, which was blacklisted by the Egyptian authorities in late 2013.

Two other aides to the former president were slapped with a life sentence each in the same case.

The former president and several other defendants were also slapped with a 15-year jail term each for allegedly leaking classified documents to Qatar.

The court, however, cleared Morsi of charges of spying to Qatar, which was a main backer of Morsi’s administration while he was in power.

Saturday’s rulings are still subject to appeal.

“We will appeal the court verdicts against Morsi,” his lawyer Abdel-Moneim Abdel-Maksoud told Anadolu Agency.

The Muslim Brotherhood also decried the court verdicts against Morsi, vowing to pursue protests “until Morsi’s legitimacy is restored”.

Egypt’s first democratically elected leader, Morsi was ousted by the military in in a 2013 military coup — after only one year in office — following protests against his presidency.

He has since been slapped with life-in-prison and death sentences for “conspiring against Egypt” — with Palestinian group Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah — and for breaking out of jail in 2011.

He has also been sentenced with a 20-year jail term for allegedly committing murder.

The former president also faces charges of “insulting” Egypt’s judiciary.

Morsi and his co-defendants, along with a number of independent observers, say the charges are politically driven.

Since Morsi’s ouster and imprisonment, the Egyptian authorities have launched a harsh crackdown on his Muslim Brotherhood group — killing hundreds and jailing tens of thousands — while relations between Cairo and Doha have nosedived.

Author Mohamed Sabry Emam Muhammed

 

[Photo: Egypt’s ousted President Mohamed Morsi is seen behind the bars during his trial on charges of espionage on behalf of Qatar at the Police Academy in Cairo, Egypt on June 18, 2016. Photographer: Ahmed Gamil/AA]

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