EGYPT: FORMER LEADER MORSY GIVEN DEATH SENTENCE IN JAILBREAK CASE
May 16, 2015: Former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy was sentenced by a Cairo court to death -- the latest judicial setback for the ousted leader. He was convicted in a 2011 prison break.
Morsy's name, along with those of 106 other defendants, will be passed to the Grand Mufti, the highest legal authority in Egypt, who will have the final say on their sentence. The verdict will be confirmed June 2.
This was the harshest sentence that Morsy could have expected to receive in the case.
The leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, and a former parliament speaker, Mohamed Saad El-Katatny, also were referred to the Grand Mufti in the jailbreak case.
Cairo's military-installed government has banned the Muslim Brotherhood, branding it a terrorist group -- an allegation it denies.
Morsy and his co-defendants were accused of collaborating with the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas and the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah to break into several prisons across Egypt in January 2011 and of facilitating the escape of Morsy and 20,000 others.
The jailbreak came amid the chaos of the January 2011 popular uprising that toppled longtime strongman Hosni Mubarak and led to Morsy's election the following year.
In a separate case involving espionage charges, another 16 defendants -- but not Morsy -- were also sentenced to death. The verdict will be confirmed June 2.
Among those sentenced to death are Mohamed El-Shater, deputy leader of the Muslim Brotherhood; Mohamed El-Beltagy, a former Muslim Brotherhood member of parliament; Ahmed Abdel Aty, a former presidential aide; and Emad Shahin, a political science professor now in the United States. (Sources: Reuters, CNN, 16/05/2015)