A Cairo court has upheld death sentences for toppled president, Mohamed Mursi and other leaders within the banned Muslim Brotherhood movement.
They relate to a mass jailbreak in 2011. Sentencing was initially passed in May 2015, then later confirmed following a consultation with the Grand Mufti, Egypt’s most senior religious figure.
In total 106 people were tried in connection with the jailbreak.
The movement’s supreme guide Mohammed Badie was among the group sentenced.
They are allowed to appeal, political analyst Ayman Samir explained:
“These are the verdicts of the court of first instance. Both ousted president Mohamed Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood may appeal against them, by following two legal procedures.”
A lawyer for the Brotherhood says they will appeal the sentences.
In a separate case, the same court sentenced Mursi to life in prison (25 years) for charges relating to espionage with foreign powers, including the Palestinian group Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah faction. Some 35 defendants were tried on charges of spying, disclosing state secrets to foreign countries, funding terrorism and conducting military training to serve an international branch of the Brotherhood.
Egypt’s Interior Ministry has declared a state of high alert nationwide. Checkpoints have been reinforced in anticipation of possible violent reactions to the verdicts by members of the Brotherhood or its supporters.