Egypt Courts Sentence 220 Morsi Supporters to Prison

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Egyptian courts have sentenced 220 mostly supporters of the ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi to up to seven years imprisonment for instigating violence and holding protests without a permit.

The three Alexandria courts issued verdicts in separate cases on Tuesday, all related to protests held by mostly Morsi supporters that descended into violence last summer.

Former Islamist lawmaker Sobhi Saleh was among 134 who were sentenced to three years prison and fined nearly $7,000 each for inciting violence and holding protests in August. The month was Egypt's bloodiest in decades as security forces unleashed a heavy crackdown on protest camps that left hundreds dead.

Egypt's interim president Adly Mansour on Tuesday named Ibrahim Mehlib, who had for more than a decade led Egypt's biggest construction company to replace Hazem el-Beblaw, who resigned on Monday.

Many saw the move as paving the way for military chief and Defense Minister Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to run for the presidency and to defuse mounting popular anger at the government's perceived failure to revive the economy and improve services.

El-Sissi must leave the military if he is to run for president.

Mehlib told reporters Tuesday that his cabinet members will be "holy warriors" in the service of Egyptians. He says he will form his cabinet within three days.

File photo: Ibrahim Mehlib, center, tours a government housing project in Ismailiya, Egypt. November 24, 2013.Credit: AP

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