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Cairo, June 16(IANS) – An Egyptian court on Tuesday sentenced former president Mohamed Morsi to death on Tuesday over a prison break in 2011, confirming a preliminary death sentence issued in May.
Earlier in the day, Morsi was also sentenced to life imprisonment related to charges of espionage with foreign powers – including Hamas, Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards – to destabilise Egypt, Al Ahram reported.
The court also sentenced 17 defendants to life in prison, and 16 to death, including Muslim Brotherhood leaders Khairat El-Beltagy and Mohamed El-Beltagy, Al Ahram reported.
The general guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, was also sentenced to 25 years in jail in the same case.
However, the death sentence can be appealed.
On May 16, the court issued a preliminary death sentence against Morsi and 105 other defendants in the jailbreak case, after which their papers were referred to the grand mufti, a senior Muslim cleric, for a consultative review as required by Egyptian law.
The mufti’s advice regarding the death sentence is not legally binding.
In the Wadi Natroun jailbreak case, the prosecution charged Morsi and 130 co-defendants, many tried in absentia, with damaging and setting fire to prison buildings, murder, attempted murder, looting prison weapons depots and releasing prisoners while escaping from the prison during the January 2011 revolution.
According to the prosecution, the prisoners who escaped include members of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and Hezbollah, as well as jihadis and criminals.
Prosecutors said over 800 fighters from Gaza had infiltrated Egypt and used rocket-propelled grenades and weapons to storm three prisons, abducting four policemen and killing several others.