Egyptian court hands Morsi another life sentence

Egypt's former President Morsi received another life sentence on Saturday, after a court found him guilty of espionage and leaking state secrets.

Photo by: AA (Archive)
Photo by: AA (Archive)

Egypt's ex-President Morsi sits in the defendant's cage during a court trial in Cairo on November 5, 2014

An Egyptian court sentenced deposed President Mohammed Morsi to life imprisonment on Saturday. In the same trial, six of Morsi’s co-defendants were given death penalties.

The court acquitted Morsi of charges of having supplied Qatar with classified documents but sentenced him to life for leading an unlawful organisation, his lawyer Abdel Moneim Abdel Maksoud told AFP.

The former president was also convicted of having "stolen secret documents concerning state security" and handed another 15-year jail term, the lawyer added.

On Saturday, the court confirmed death sentences against six defendants, including three journalists tried in absentia, who allegedly helped leak secret documents to Qatar.

The journalists have been identified as Ibrahim Mohamed Hilal and Jordanian citizen Alaa Omar Mohamed Sablan, both of the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera channel.

The third has been identified as Asmaa Mohamed al-Khatib, a female reporter with pro-Muslim Brotherhood news outlet Rassd.

People took to Twitter to express their reactions: 

Death penalty and other sentences

In April 2015, the former president was sentenced to a 20-year jail term after being convicted of ordering the unlawful detention and torture of opposition protesters during clashes with Brotherhood supporters in Cairo in December 2012.

In May 2015, Morsi was sentenced to death in a separate trial for his alleged role in prison breaks and attacks on police stations during the 2011 uprising that overthrew the then president Hosni Mubarak.

Mohammed Morsi was also given a life sentence in May 2015 after being convicted of conspiring to undermine national security by carrying out acts of terrorism with foreign backing. His 16 co-defendants, including three leaders of the Brotherhood, were given death penalties after they were convicted of leaking state secrets.

The death sentences had been sent to the mufti -- Egypt's official interpreter of Islamic law -- and were confirmed by him, as Egyptian law requires his opinion on death sentences although his opinion is not binding.

The verdicts can be appealed.

Rise and fall of Morsi

Mohammed Morsi was the fifth president of Egypt who was elected to power in June 2012 following an uprising that dislodged the then President Hosni Mubarak, who ruled the country for 30 years.

During Morsi’s one-year rule as president,(June 30, 2012 to July 3, 2013), many Egyptians saw him as a leader who remained focused on enhancing his political control rather than dealing with other challenges relating to the economy and social issues.

In November 2012, Morsi issued a temporary constitutional declaration, granting him unlimited powers including the power to legislate.

In June 2013, protests erupted across Egypt and Morsi was ousted as a result of a military coup launched by army chief General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who is the current president of Egypt.


TRTWorld and agencies