CAIRO: The death sentence handed to Islamist scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi and dozens others in a 2011 prison break case is “worthless and undeserving of attention,” Qaradawi said in a televised speech aired by Al-Jazeera Mubasher Saturday.
Qaradawi, an Egyptian living in Qatar, was sentenced to death Saturday along with former President Mohamed Morsi and 104 others over charges of raiding Wadi al-Natroun prison and freeing many prisoners during the 2011 January 25 Revolution.
The sentences “cannot be executed,” because they are “against the law of God, logic and mind,” said Qaradawi, a major supporter of the banned Muslim Brotherhood group.
“I do not pay attention to such rulings… they are fabricated and invalid,” he added. He also denied accusations of inciting violence.
“Everybody knows that I was in Qatar at that time [wadi el-Natroun prison break]… and how can an 85-year-old man break a jail and free prisoners” he continued.
The preacher ruled out that the Grand Mufti would approve the mass sentences; the Mufti’s religious opinion, sought when a case results in a death sentence, only has an advisory capacity. However, several mass death sentences were commuted after receiving the Mufti’s opinion.
The case has already been referred to the Mufti, and the court will uphold or commute the sentences on June 2. Regardless of the court’s decision, the defendants are legally entitled to challenge the verdict.
Qaradawi, who is the head of the International Union for Muslim Scholars, was listed in December 2014 on Interpol’s wanted list over accusations of murder, helping prisoners to escape, arson, vandalism and theft.
His membership in the International Islamic Council for Da’wah and Relief, headed by Grand Imam Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayed, was revoked for mixing politics with religion, according to Youm7.
In January, Egypt formally requested Qatar to freeze the assets of Qaradawi for “illegitimately acquiring” them.