World Bulletin / News Desk
Egypt’s highest appellate court on Saturday upheld a life sentence against Mohamed Morsi, the country’s first democratically-elected president who was ousted in a military coup in mid-2013, according to a local judicial source.
The court also upheld death sentences handed down earlier against three other defendants, who, like Morsi, were convicted of spying for Qatar during Morsi’s brief stint as president from mid-2012 to mid-2013.
In August of last year, seven defendants in the case, including the former president, lodged appeals against the sentences, which had been handed down two months earlier by the Cairo Criminal Court.
The case involves a total of 11 defendants (four of whom are being tried in absentia) charged with spying for a “foreign state” and affiliation with an “outlawed group” -- the latter referring to Egypt’s banned Muslim Brotherhood of which Morsi had been a leading member.
A number of the defendants in the case had worked for Qatari news broadcaster Al Jazeera during or after Morsi’s brief tenure in office.
In June of last year, the Cairo Criminal Court slapped Morsi with 40 years in prison for “spying for Qatar” -- a sentence tantamount to life behind bars.
The same court sentenced six other defendants (three of whom were tried in absentia) to death, while the rest received jail terms of varying lengths.
The 2013 coup was followed by a harsh police crackdown -- which remains ongoing -- on Morsi’s supporters and members of his Muslim Brotherhood group, hundreds of whom have been killed and thousands more detained by the post-coup authorities.Last Mod: 16 Eylül 2017, 16:01