CAIRO: North Cairo Criminal Court on Saturday has sentenced to death 16 Muslim Brotherhood (MB) members in the case known as “Hamas Espionage case.”
Although former President Mohamed Morsi is one of the defendants in the espionage case, his name was not mentioned among those sentenced to death.
The death sentences were referred to the Grand Mufti for approval while the court has set 2 June as a date of the final verdict.
According to the Egyptian penal code, referral to the Grand Mufti is a necessary procedure before issuing a death sentence. However, the religious opinion of the Mufti is non-binding.
During the same session, the court has sentenced Morsi to death over a mass prison break in 2011.
In the espionage case, Morsi along with other 35 MB senior leaders including Mohamed al-Beltagy and Khairat al-Shater were charged with conspiring with terrorist organizations and foreign powers, including Qatar, Palestinian Islamist group Hamas and Lebanese militants Hezbollah, to destabilize Egypt through executing terrorist operations.
The State Security Prosecution has accused the defendants of espionage charges from between 2005 to 2013 inside and outside Egypt.
On April 21, Morsi was sentenced to 20 years in prison for inciting violence outside the Ittihadeya Presidential Palace in 2012.