EGYPT: MURSI SENTENCED TO 40 YEARS IN QATAR SPY CASE
|Ousted president Mohamed Morsi
June 18, 2016: An Egyptian court sentenced toppled Islamist president Mohammad Mursi to a total of 40 years in prison after convicting him of jeopardising national security by having passed classified state documents to Qatar when he was in power.
The Court upheld death sentences against six other defendants for supplying Qatar with classified state documents under Mursi‚Äôs rule.
The Cairo Criminal Court sentenced Mursi to life in prison ‚ÄĒ a verdict equal to 25 years in Egypt ‚ÄĒ and 15 more years on two separate counts in the case.
The verdict is the latest in a series of sentences against Mursi who is already on death row.
Two ex-aides to Mursi were also given sentences of a total of 40 years in prison each in the same case.
The court confirmed initial death sentences it passed last month against six more defendants in the case after the verdicts had been ratified by the country‚Äôs top Islamic legal official, the Grand Mufti.
‚ÄúThe accused deserve the penalty of death because they put the nation in danger,‚ÄĚ chief judge Mohammad Sherin quoted the mufti as saying in his advisory opinion to the court.
‚ÄúThey obtained state secrets with the intention of divulging them to a foreign country. Thus, they breached trust,‚ÄĚ the top Muslim cleric added, referring to the convicts.
Egyptian law requires the mufti to sign off on death sentences. His opinion is not binding, but is usually respected by courts.
All the rulings are subjected to appeal.
The leaked documents were pertaining to the Egyptian army, its armament and concentrations, the chief judge added in a statement broadcast live on Egyptian television.
The session was held at a makeshift courtroom in the Police Academy outside Cairo.
Qatar is a staunch backer of Mursi‚Äôs Muslim Brotherhood. Ties have soured between Egypt and Qatar since the army‚Äôs 2013 ouster of Mursi following massive street protests against his one-year rule. Hearings in this case, dubbed ‚Äúespionage with Qatar‚ÄĚ, opened in February 2015.
Mursi is already on death row after another court sentenced him to death last year in a separate case related to orchestrating a big prison escape during the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime president Hosni Mubarak. Mursi was also given a life sentence after being convicted of conspiring with foreign organisations for the jailbreak.
The ‚ÄúQatar spying‚ÄĚ trial is one of several in which Mursi is charged with multiple criminal charges. Mursi, a senior leader in the now-outlawed Brotherhood, is being tried in another case related to insulting the judiciary. The Islamist leader insists he remains the rightful president of Egypt. (Sources: Gulf News, 18/06/2016)