Egypt Muslim Brotherhood leader jailed for insulting prosecutor

Supporters of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood take part in a rally to protest against the death penalties for the members of the radical group in Egypt, near the Egyptian embassy in Ankara on April 18, 2014. An Egyptian court on Saturday sentenc
Supporters of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood take part in a rally to protest against the death penalties for the members of the radical group in Egypt, near the Egyptian embassy in Ankara on April 18, 2014. An Egyptian court on Saturday sentenced an Islamist leader on trial for murder alongside deposed president Mohamed Mursi to a year in jail for insulting a prosecutor, judicial sources said. -- PHOTO: AFP

CAIRO (AFP) - An Egyptian court on Saturday sentenced an Islamist leader on trial for murder alongside deposed president Mohamed Mursi to a year in jail for insulting a prosecutor, judicial sources said.

Top Muslim Brotherhood member Mohammed al-Beltagui and Mursi were both in court on Saturday accused of inciting the killing of opposition protesters outside the presidential palace in Cairo in December 2012.

Their trial is part of a relentless crackdown targeting Mursi and the Brotherhood since the military ousted him on July 3, ending a turbulent single year in office.

The sources said Beltagui, who is currently in custody along with scores of other Brotherhood leaders, was condemned for "insulting" a prosecutor during Saturday's hearing, but without elaborating.

It is the first time a senior member of the Brotherhood has been given a jail sentence since Mursi's ouster.

Beltagui's lawyer Mohammed Abu Leila told AFP that such sentences cannot be appealed.

Both Mursi and Beltagui are also on trial in two other cases on jailbreak and espionage charges.

If found guilty, the defendants could face the death penalty.

They are accused of organising jailbreaks and attacking police stations during the 2011 uprising that toppled autocratic president Hosni Mubarak.

Prosecutors allege the attacks on police stations and the jailbreaks, in which Morsi and other political prisoners escaped, were a Brotherhood-led conspiracy to sow chaos.

In the espionage trial, Mursi and 35 others are accused of conspiring with foreign powers, the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas and Shi'ite Iran to destabilise Egypt.

A police crackdown on Mursi supporters has killed more than 1,400 people, according to rights group Amnesty International.

More than 15,000 Islamists, mostly from the Brotherhood, have also been jailed, and hundreds have been sentenced to death after often speedy trials.

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