World Bulletin/News Desk
An Egyptian military court on Monday upheld jail sentences previously handed down against five leading supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi convicted of attempting to illegally travel to Sudan, a judicial source said.
The five men – including Safwat Abdel-Ghani, a founder and leading member of the Islamist Construction and Development Party – had appealed one-year jail terms they had received earlier this year, but the court upheld the verdicts, according to the source.
The defendants, however, still had a chance to appeal the verdicts before a military appeal court within 60 days, the source said.
The men were arrested in July by Egyptian border guards. In September, they were sentenced by a military court to one year in jail each for entering a "military zone" and attempting to enter Sudan – Egypt's neighbor to the south – illegally.
They are all leading members of the Construction and Development Party, a component of the National Alliance for the Defense of Legitimacy, ousted president Morsi's main support bloc.
Party spokesman Ahmed al-Iskandarani, for his part, slammed the ruling as "politically motivated."
"These verdicts aim to settle scores with dissidents," he told The Anadolu Agency by phone, adding that the party planned to challenge the ruling.
Since Morsi's ouster by the army in July of last year, thousands of his supporters have been thrown in jail on violence-related charges, which they insist are politically motivated.Last Mod: 24 Kasım 2014, 15:12