CAIRO: Foreign countries’ critical remarks on former President Mohamed Morsi’s sentence “violate all international conventions that respect sovereignty,” Egypt’s Ministry of Justice said in a Tuesday statement.
“Although the Egyptian government and all its institutions are committed to not comment on court rulings pursuant to the principle of the separation of powers stipulated by the constitution, the (Justice) Ministry believes it is necessary to face the fierce attack on the Egyptian judiciary. The ministry emphasizes its total independence and that all its rulings and decisions are issued in accordance with international judicial standards,” the statement read.
On Saturday, the Giza Criminal Court referred Morsi and 105 Muslim Brotherhood figures to the Grand Mufti, Egypt’s top religious authority, to consider the death penalty handed down to them for conspiring with foreign militants during a major prison break in 2011.
The ruling comes one month after Morsi received a separate 20-year sentence for inciting violence against protesters while in office.
The Justice Ministry said the court’s ruling “is preliminary” and will be referred to the Grand Mufti for review, adding that “the final court sentence can still be appealed” after the Mufti sends his opinion to the court.
The sentencing triggered international outrage, as several human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, demanded Morsi be released or retried and labeled the ruling a “charade based on null and void procedures.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, known for his support to the Brotherhood in Egypt also condemned the decision and accused the west of “hypocrisy,” according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.
On Sunday, the Foreign Ministry reiterated that it is unacceptable to comment on the decisions and verdicts issued by the Egyptian judiciary.
“Any negative sign towards the Egyptian judiciary is totally unacceptable in form and substance,” the ministry said.