CAIRO: Two members of Hamas sentenced to death along with former President Mohamed Morsi were already killed in 2008 and 2014, respectively, the Gaza-based organization claimed in a Saturday statement.
“We denounce the sentence issued by an Egyptian court yesterday against three of our heroes, especially that they are all dead; Raed al-Attar was killed in the Israeli raid on Gaza in the summer of 2014, while Hossam al-Senaa’ was killed in 2008 and Hassan Salama has been imprisoned in Zionist jails since 1996,” Hamas said.
Morsi and 105 others were sentenced to death Saturday over escaping from jail in 2011. The court will uphold or commute the sentence on June 2, after the Grand Mufti sends his unbinding opinion to the judge. The sentence may be challenged before the Cassation Court after that date.
“Thus, we consider the sentence totally politicized and unfair; although we reject interfering in Egypt’s internal politics, we also reject dragging us into them and we believe that this ruling offers legitimacy for Israeli crimes against Palestinian people,” the statement added.
On Jan. 29, 2011, assailants raided Wadi al-Natroun prison, freeing a large number of prisoners, including members of Egyptian, Palestinian and Lebanese Islamist groups. Morsi, who was jailed on remand, was among those who fled the prison.
The defendants include Mahmoud Ezzat, the deputy of the Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide, Saad el-Katatni, former Speaker of the 2012 People’s Assembly and member of the Brotherhood’s Guidance Bureau, Mohamed Beltagy, former Brotherhood Member of Parliament, Essam el-Erian, former Brotherhood MP, and Qatar-based Islamist cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi.
Those tried in absentia include members of Hamas and Hezbollah.
Morsi is among 36 defendants accused of spying for Hamas and Hezbollah in a lawsuit known in the media as the “espionage case,” which was also deliberated on Saturday. The court referred 16 defendants, excluding Morsi, to the Mufti, motioning more death sentences.
Egypt sour relations with Hamas boomed under Morsi’s one-year rule.