CAIRO: The Cairo Criminal Court upheld death sentences for Muslim Brotherhood(MB) Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie and 13 others over involvement in deadly clashes that followed the dispersal of MB sit-ins in August 2013, as well as a life sentence for Mohamed Soltan.
Twelve, out of the 14 defendants sentenced to death were present during the ruling while the other two were sentenced in absentia.
A total of 51 defendants stood trial in the Rabaa Control Room case. Thirty-seven of them were sentenced to life, out of which 24 were present during the ruling while the others were sentenced to absentia.
Mohamed Soltan, the son of Brotherhood leading figure Salah Sultan, has been on a hunger strike for more than one year in protest against his charges.
The defendants were accused of setting up the “Rabaa control room,” from which they allegedly “spread chaos, organized violence and revolt across the country” following the ouster of Islamist Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.
On March 16, the Giza Criminal Court issued its preliminary sentences and referred the ruling to the Grand Mufti, the country’s highest Islamic legal official, to issue a religious opinion; a customary legal procedure adopted only in death sentences.
However, the Mufti’s ruling is not binding and the defendants mat can appeal Saturday’s verdict.
Badie has already been sentenced to death twice, has also were handed a life term in prison for inciting violence following the Rabaa dispersal.
Since the military-backed overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 following a mass protest against his regime, hundreds of MB supporters have been sentenced to death for their role in inciting violence. Most of these death sentences have been appealed and sent to retrial.
On Feb. 5, the Court of Cassation upheld the first execution of an alleged MB supporter for throwing 4 teenagers to their death from a rooftop of a building in Alexandria in 2013.