Cairo: Muslim Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie and 36 other Islamists were today sentenced to life by an Egyptian court for involvement in deadly protests last year after military’s ouster of president Mohammed Morsi.
Badie, convicted of involvement in deadly protests, has already received death sentences in two other cases.
In yet another blow to the Muslim Brotherhood, Badie was among the 37, out of 48 defendants accused of inciting violence and blocking the Qalyoub Highway last year, who were given life sentences today.
Another 10 defendants, sentenced to death in absentia in June, had their verdicts approved by the country’s grand mufti, who according to Egyptian law must review all capital punishment verdicts. One defendant was given three years in jail, the Ahram Online reported. Among those sentenced to life apart from Badie were leading Brotherhood members Mohamed El-Beltagy and Osama Yassin.
The prosecution also accused them of being members in a terrorist group, blocking roads, vandalising public and private properties, illegal possession of arms and disrupting the general peace.
The presiding Judge Hassan Farid said the defendants were involved in violence and murder during protests last July after the army’s ouster of Morsi. The judge said the defendants had committed the violence “to achieve terrorist goals.” This is not the first mass death sentence announced against the loyalists of Morsi. Morsi’s loyalists have been arrested in thousands since last August.
In March, Minya Criminal Court in Upper Egypt sentenced 529 Brotherhood supporters to death on charges of murdering the deputy commander of the Matay district police station during riots that erupted in the aftermath of the forced dispersal in August 2013 of Islamist protest camps in Cairo and Giza that left hundreds dead.
Militant attacks against security forces escalated since the ouster of Morsi, leaving more than 500 officers and soldiers dead. The Muslim Brotherhood has repeatedly denied involvement in the violence. The group was declared a terrorist organisation last December.