Egypt's ex-president Mursi sentenced to death

Mohamed Mursi in court yesterday. He had been convicted of killing and kidnapping policemen, and jailbreak.
Mohamed Mursi in court yesterday. He had been convicted of killing and kidnapping policemen, and jailbreak.

CAIRO - An Egyptian court has sentenced deposed president Mohamed Mursi to death on charges of killing, kidnapping and other offences during a 2011 mass jailbreak.

The Muslim Brotherhood's general guide, Mohamed Badie, and four other Brotherhood leaders were also handed the death penalty. More than 80 others were sentenced to death in absentia.

Earlier yesterday, the court also sentenced Mursi to life in prison in a separate case related to conspiring with foreign groups.

Mursi, dressed in a blue prison suit, was calm and smiled slightly as the judge read out the first sentence.

He became Egypt's first democratically elected president after the fall of autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011, but was himself overthrown by the army in 2013 after mass protests against his rule.

The court last month convicted Mursi and his fellow defendants of killing and kidnapping policemen, attacking police facilities and breaking out of jail during the 2011 uprising against Mubarak.

The death sentence request drew criticism from the United States, other Western governments and human rights groups.

After yesterday's sentencing, a senior Muslim Brotherhood member said the trial had "fallen below all international standards".

Mr Yahya Hamid, a former minister in Mursi's Cabinet and head of international relations for the Brotherhood, said: "This verdict is a nail in the coffin of democracy in Egypt."

Mursi, Badie and 15 others were also given life sentences - which under Egyptian law means serving 25 years - for conspiring with the Palestinian group Hamas, which rules Gaza.

Three Muslim Brotherhood leaders were sentenced to death in the same case, along with 13 more tried in absentia.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 17, 2015, with the headline 'Egypt's ex-president Mursi sentenced to death'. Print Edition | Subscribe