Ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi sentenced to death

first_img Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Comments   Share   As is customary in capital punishment cases, Judge Shaaban el-Shami referred his death sentences on Morsi and the others to the nation’s top Muslim cleric for his non-binding opinion. El-Shami set June 2 for the next hearing, and the sentences can be appealed.Morsi already is serving a 20-year sentence for his part in the killing in 2012 of protesters outside a Cairo presidential palace.The military overthrew Morsi in July 2013 following days of mass protests by Egyptians angered by his divisive policies. Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who had been appointed military chief by Morsi, led his ouster, and was elected nearly a year ago in a vote boycotted by the Islamist opposition.Since his ouster, authorities have cracked down on Islamists and pro-democracy activists who were instrumental in the 2011 uprising. Thousands of Morsi supporters have been jailed and hundreds killed in street clashes over the last two years, including at least 600 in one day, when security forces violently dispersed two pro-Morsi sit-ins in August 2013.After the verdict was read Saturday, a smiling Morsi defiantly waved the four-finger sign associated with the sit-ins.As the government has cracked down on Islamists and other activists, the courts have been far more lenient to Mubarak-era officials. Mubarak himself was acquitted in November of charges linked to the killing of hundreds of protesters in 2011 and has not spent a single day in prison since his arrest in April 2011. The 87-year-old Mubarak was sentenced to three years for corruption on May 9 but was later declared a free man since he had already spent three years in detention, mostly at a Nile-side military hospital in a southern Cairo suburb. Prosecutors have appealed his acquittal over the death of protesters, and a high court will decide next month if he should be retried.Sentenced to death with Morsi on Saturday were 105 defendants, including some 70 Palestinians. The defendants include the Brotherhood’s spiritual leader, Mohammed Badie — who has already been sentenced to death in a separate trial — as well as one of the Arab world’s best known Islamic scholars, the Qatar-based Youssef al-Qaradawi. Most defendants were tried and convicted in absentia, meaning they will receive automatic retrials if they are detained.Supporters of Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood, now outlawed and branded a terrorist group, chanted “down, down with military rule” as the judge announced the verdict in a converted lecture hall in the national police academy.Prosecutors alleged that armed members of the Palestinian Hamas group entered Egypt during the 18-day uprising through illegal tunnels running under the Gaza-Sinai border. Taking advantage of the turmoil, the militants fought their way into several prisons, releasing Morsi, more than 30 other Muslim Brotherhood leaders and some 20,000 inmates, prosecutors say. Several prison guards were killed and parts of the stormed prisons were damaged. Sponsored Stories Hezbollah and Hamas operatives who had been convicted and sentenced to jail terms over terror-related charges were also sprung out of jail in 2011.In Gaza, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the sentencing to death of the Palestinians was “regrettable” and “shocking,” adding that “some of those convicted were killed before the Egyptian revolution and others are serving prison terms in Israel.” He said nothing about Morsi’s death sentence.Hamas is the Palestinian chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood and enjoyed close relations with Morsi during his year in office, but has denied taking part in the prison breaks.Amr Darrag, a Cabinet minister under Morsi and a co-founder of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, also blasted Saturday’s verdicts.“Today will be remembered as one of the darkest days in Egypt’s history,” he said.An Islamist opposition alliance led by the Brotherhood meanwhile called on Egyptians to step up the campaign to topple the “gang of treachery and usurpers” in the run-up to July 3, the second anniversary of Morsi’s removal from power.Amnesty International also denounced the verdicts, saying “the death penalty has become the favorite tool for the Egyptian authorities to purge the political opposition.” Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementlast_img