CAIRO: The Giza Criminal Court Thursday sentenced Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie, MB leader Mohamed El-Beltagy and 12 others to death and referred the sentences to Grand Mufti Shawki Allam for a ceremonial review.
The court is required to consider Allam’s opinion on the sentence, but is not bound to follow it.
The 14 defendants were accused of stirring up violence at Istiqama Mosque in Giza, killing 10 people and attempting to murder 20 among other charges stemming from the July 3 ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi, Youm7 reported.
Badie’s lawyer Mohamed al-Domiatti said the incidents at Istiqama following the mass protests against Morsi on June 30 were instigated by police. He also asked the court to throw out the case in keeping with the precedent set by the 1977 Egyptian Bread Riots. In that case, as many as 79 people were killed and over 550 injured when hundreds of thousands of the poor protested the World Bank- and International Monetary Fund-mandated termination of state subsidies on basic foodstuffs.
On June 14, the trial adjourned until Thursday’s session in order to hear two witnesses. However, the two witnesses did not attend because they were unable to be notified of the trial appearance date, according to the prosecution. The first session of the trial was held on April 10.
During the session, Safwat Hegazy, one of the defendants, interrupted the presiding judge and said, “Those who lost their lives during the Rabaa sit-in dispersal were real men, and the others who are completing the martyrs’ march are real men too,” Anadolu news agency reported.
Meanwhile, Badie said, “We live in a period where the offender is converted into a victim. We are not in Egypt when President Mohamed Morsi and Parliament Speaker Saad Katatni are kidnapped and accused of being terrorists while the murderers are still messing with Egypt’s security and economy.”