Mohammed Morsi sentenced to 20 years over protest deaths

Ousted Egyptian president convicted over killing of protesters in December 2012

Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Mursi is sentenced to 20 years in prison without parole, nearly three years after he was declared Egypt's first freely elected president. Video: Reuters

 

Ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi has been sentenced to 20 years in prison by an Egyptian criminal court over the killing of protesters in 2012.

It is the first verdict to be issued against the country’s first freely elected leader.

The Cairo criminal court issued the verdict as Morsi and other defendants in the case, mostly Muslim Brotherhood leaders, stood in a soundproof glass cage inside a makeshift courtroom at Egypt’s national police academy.

The case stems from violence outside the presidential palace in December 2012. Morsi’s supporters attacked opposition protesters, sparking clashes that killed at least 10 people.

Judge Ahmed Youssef dropped murder charges and said the sentence was linked to the “show of force” and unlawful detention associated with the case.

In addition to Morsi, 12 Brotherhood leaders and Islamist supporters, including Mohammed el-Beltagy and Essam el-Erian, were also sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Morsi and the rest of the defendants raised the four-finger sign symbolising the sit-in at the Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque, where hundreds were killed when security forces violently dispersed the sprawling sit-in by Morsi’s supporters on August 14th, 2013.

Morsi faces several other trials along with thousands of Muslim Brotherhood members following the military overthrowing him in 2013.

He was ousted following demonstrations by millions of people calling on him to leave office.

He is now being held at a high-security prison near the Mediterranean city of Alexandria. His incarceration there followed four months of detention at an undisclosed location.

In past sessions, Morsi and most of the defendants turned their backs to the court when Judge Youssef played several video recordings of the clashes outside the palace in 2012.

PA