CAIRO – An Egyptian court has upheld the death sentence given to Ex-President Mohammed Morsi for his role in a mass prison break in 2011.
Egyptian court issued further blows Tuesday against Egyptian former President Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood allies, sentencing the ousted leader to life in prison and handing death sentences to three others in connection with alleged contact with foreign groups.
Mohammed Morsi, 63-year-old was sentenced to death last month for his role in a 2011 prison break. Three more senior members of the organization – Khairat Al Shater, Mohamed Beltagy and Ahmed Abdel Alaty — were sentenced to death by hanging.
The court decisions mark the latest move by prosecutors to punish and discredit Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, whose Islamist-inspired government was ousted by Egyptian military-led pressures in 2013 following a series of street protests against his rule.
Earlier Tuesday, Morsi was sentenced to life in prison for spying for Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, and Iran, the news agency AFP reported.
On Tuesday Egyptian court judge also confirmed death sentences for five other jailed leading members of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood group, according to the Associated Press.
Morsi was the first Egypt’s democratically elected president, was ousted by the military in 2013 after a year in office. But soon Morsi ran afoul with Egypt’s military and others that accused him of abuse of power.
He is already serving a 20-year prison sentence for ordering the arrest and torture of protesters while president.
A total of seventeen life sentences were given to top Brotherhood officials, including the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual guide Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed Badie.
In Egyptian court, judge, Shabaan al-Shami, read prosecutors’ claims that the Brotherhood received military training in Gaza with the militant group Hamas and leaked state secrets to Iran, which made diplomatic outreach to Morsi’s government after decades of opposing Mubarak. No direct evidence was made public during the court proceedings.
Displaying the official backlash against the Muslim Brotherhood, the magistrate Shami called the June 2013 protests that toppled Mohammed Morsi a “bright dawn after a long, black night.”
Tuesday’s verdicts can be appealed. In Egypt, a life sentence is also described as a 25-year jail term.
Amid the political turmoil, Egypt also faces escalating violence from Islamists factions and other insurgents. Last week, attackers armed with explosives and weapons battled security forces outside and the death sentence for his role in the prison break was handed down in May.
The ruling will automatically be appealed.