Egypt’s ousted President Mohamed Mursi has been told he faces execution, along with more than 100 supporters of his now banned Muslim Brotherhood, over a mass jailbreak during the Arab Spring uprising in 2011 that toppled longtime leader Hosni Mubarak.
Mursi, Egypt’s first freely-elected president, is already serving 20 years for ordering the arrest and torture of protesters during his own time in power.
Top Brotherhood leaders Mohamed Badie and Mohamed el-Beltagy were among those also given death penalties.
Like all capital sentences in Egypt, the sentences will be referred to its top religious authority, the Grand Mufti, for a non-binding opinion.
Some defendants flashed a four-finger salute symbolising resistance to the state’s anti-Islamist crackdown and shouted: “Down with military rule!”
Hours after the sentence, followed by Egyptians on television, there was a reminder of the violence that has followed Mursi’s fall.
Security forces are usually the target of Islamist militant groups but on Saturday in the North Sinai city of al-Arish, two judges, a prosecutor and their driver were shot dead.
Back in Cairo, Mursi can appeal. He describes legal proceedings against him as part of a coup in 2013 by Egypt’s current leader Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.