Egypt court recommends death sentences for six but not Morsi

An Egyptian court recommends death sentences for six co-defendants of former President Mohamed Morsi, but not for him.

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected leader, was ousted in a 2013 military coup.

An Egyptian court recommended the death sentence on Saturday for six co-defendants of Egypt's ousted leader Mohamed Morsi on espionage charges, but not for him.

Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected leader, was ousted in a 2013 military coup, following protests against his presidency.

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

The presiding judge in the trial asked the mufti - the country's official interpreter of Islamic law - to consider death sentences for the six co-defendants, and added that the court would convene again on June 18, following the mufti's response.

Egyptian law requires the mufti to sign off on death sentences. His opinion is not binding, but is usually respected by courts.

Meanwhile, three co-defendants were identified by the prosecution as journalists who helped relay documents to Qatar.

Qatar was a main backer of Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood movement while he was in power between 2012 and July 2013, when the military overthrew and detained him.

He has already received sentences in three separate trials.

At least 2,600 people were killed and almost 41,000 people arrested in violent crackdowns in the following 18 months after Morsi was deposed in July, 2013.

Since Morsi's ouster and imprisonment, Egyptian authorities have cracked down on his Muslim Brotherhood group, killing hundreds and jailing tens of thousands.

TRTWorld, Reuters