Egypt's Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood Leaders Sentenced to Death

The court last month sought the death penalty for Morsi after he and his fellow defendants, including Brotherhood leader Badie, were convicted in cases related to a 2011 mass jail break and conspiring with foreign groups.

AP

REUTERS - An Egyptian court sentenced former Islamist President Mohammed Morsi to death on Tuesday in a case related to a 2011 mass jail break.

The court had sought the death penalty for Morsi in May and referred its recommendation to Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam, the country's most senior religious authority, a step required by law for death sentences.

The general guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammed Badie, was also sentenced to death.

Earlier, the same court sentenced former Morsi to a life sentence of 25 years in prison on Tuesday in a case related to conspiring with foreign groups. 

Badie was also sentenced to 25 years in jail in the same case. In total, 17 were given life sentences, including senior Brotherhood figures Essam el-Erian and Saad el-Katatni. 

The court also sentenced Muslim Brotherhood leader Khairat el-Shater, Mohammed el-Beltagy and Ahmed Abdelaty to death in the same case. Death sentences were also handed to 13 other defendants in absentia. The verdicts can be appealed. 

The court last month sought the death penalty for Morsi after he and his fellow defendants, including Brotherhood leader Badie, were convicted of killing and kidnapping policemen, attacking police facilities and breaking out of jail during the uprising against then-president Hosni Mubarak. 

The Islamist Morsi was Egypt's first democratically elected president and was overthrown by the army in 2013. He has said the court is not legitimate, describing legal proceedings against him as part of a coup by former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in 2013. 

Sisi, now president, says the Brotherhood poses a grave threat to national security. The group maintains it is committed to peaceful activism.