CAIRO, May 16:(AFP) – An Egyptian court sentenced deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and more than 100 other defendants to death on Saturday over jail breaks during the 2011 uprising. Morsi, sitting in a caged dock, raised his fists in defiance when the judge read his verdict.
Many of those sentenced were tried in absentia, including prominent Islamic cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi who resides in Qatar.
Under Egyptian law, death sentences are passed on to the mufti, the government’s interpreter of Islamic law, who plays an advisory role. The court will pronounce its final decision on June 2.
Morsi was spared the death sentence in the first of two trials that concluded on Thursday, in which the court advised death sentences for 16 defendants on espionage charges.
They had been charged with colluding with foreign powers, the Palestinian Hamas and Iran to destabilise Egypt. The court will pronounce the verdicts for Morsi and the remaining 18 defendants in that trial at a later date.
The court then delivered its verdict in the other the case, in which Morsi and 128 defendants were accused of plotting jail breaks and attacks on police during the uprising that overthrew president Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
More than 100 were sentenced to death along with Morsi. Many of the defendants are Palestinians alleged to work with Hamas in neighbouring Gaza, and were tried in absentia along with a Lebanese Hezbollah commander.
They were alleged to have colluded with Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood to carry out attacks in Egypt in what prosecutors allege was a vast conspiracy.
With this verdict, Morsi and other former opposition members have been condemned for violence during the anti-Mubarak protest, while Mubarak himself beat charges in a trial over the deaths of anti-government protesters during the 18-day revolt that toppled him.RSS