CAIRO: Former President Mohamed Morsi‘s initial death sentence over charges of an 2011 prison break was upheld Tuesday in the same trial where he and 16 others received life imprisonment setences over charges of spying for Hamas and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards .
Death sentences against Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badei and four other members of the outlawed group were upheld by the Cairo Criminal Court, presided by Judge Shabaan al-Sahmy.
A total of 128 defendants, including Morsi, are involved in the prison break case. They are convicted of the murder and attempted murder of a number of police officers and prisoners while breaking three prisons (Wadi El Natrun, al-Marg, and Abu Zaabal) during the January 2011 uprising.
According to investigations, the convicts collaborated with members of Gaza-based Hamas Movement, Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Bedouins in North Sinai to break the prisons where 20,000 inmates were taking time.
Only 21 convicts out of the 128 defendants were sentenced to life in jail; while 16 others received sentences of two years in prison. In absentia, 85 convicts, including Qatar-based Islamist cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi, were sentenced to death, while eight other absentees received sentences of two years in jail and only one convict was sentenced to three years in prison.
All attending convicts were fined to pay the Ministry of Interior 250 million EGP (around $ 23.7 million) in reparations over the sabotaging the ministry’s properties during the militant raids; they also should pay 100, 000 EGP to the wife of a slain police officer and 100 relatives of another victims
The same court deliberated another case in which Morsi, along with 36 co-defendants are charged with spying with foreign organizations, including from Hamas and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
Morsi and 16 others, including Former Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed Badei, were sentenced to life in prison over the said charges.
The Brotherhood’s Deputy Supreme Guide Khairat al-Shater, and Brotherhood leaders Mohamed al-Beltagy and Ahmed Abdel Atty were sentenced to death; three convicts attended the hearing at Cairo Criminal Court.
El-Sahmy issued death sentences to 13 other defendants tried in absentia Tuesday.
According to investigations stated during the Tuesday session, the convicts collaborated with Gaza-based Hamas Movement and members from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to “destabilize Egypt’s security.”
Two other convicts received sentences of seven years in prison in the same trial; meanwhile, the charges have been dropped for Brotherhood member Farid Ismail due to his death in prison.
On May 16, the court referred death sentences in both cases to the Grand Mufti and set June 2 to pronounce the ruling; however, the ruling was adjourned to Tuesday.
According to the Egyptian Criminal Code, all sentences of death and imprisonment are challengeable; however, the Attorney-General is entitled to appeal or challenge only death sentences for the attending convicts. As for the absentees, they shall be retired after being arrested.