An Egyptian criminal court on Saturday confirmed a 20-year prison sentence given to Mohammed Morsi for inciting violence during demonstrations in 2012, in the first final verdict in a case against the former president. Eight other defendants were sentenced to prison terms of up to 20 years in the case. Their appeals were refused too.
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In April 2015, a Cairo court had sentenced Morsi to 20 years in prison for inciting violence against protesters who had staged a sit-in outside the Ittihadiya presidential palace in December 2012, when Morsi was still in power. The then opposition protesters had rallied in front of the palace to peacefully protest Morsi’s decree in which he had ordered that the president shall remain immune from judicial oversight. Clashes erupted outside the palace and 10 people were killed, including journalist el-Husseini Abu Deif, 33.
Morsi and other defendants, were charged for killing protesters, possessing weapons, and inciting violence during he sit-in near the palace. Defendants include Asad Al-Shikha, Morsi’s former deputy chief of staff, Ahmed Abdel Atty, former head of president’s office, Mohamed El-Beltagy, leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood, outspoken Islamic preacher Wagdy Ghoneim and Essam El-Erian, deputy head of the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood’s Justice and Freedom Party.
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Morsi is currently in prison over other cases including on espionage charges, escaping from prison during the January 25 Revolution in 2011, insulting the judiciary and spying and handing documents of national security importance to Qatari intelligence through the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera news channel.
The former president has said he does not recongnise the trials he faces. Morsi, who became Egypt’s president in June 2012 after the first democratic elections in the country, was ousted in a military coup after a year in power following mass protests against his rule.
In another case, an Egyptian court on Saturday accepted the appeal of the supreme guide of Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed Badie and other defendants against a life in prison sentence for taking part in violent acts near Istekama mosque in Giza in which 9 people died last year.
The defendants were accused of murder, attempt to murder, resisting authorities and belonging to an outlaw group that aims at disturbing national peace, among other charges. The court has ordered a retrial for the defendants.