Egypt jails Muslim Brotherhood leader

Mohamed el-Beltagy handed six-year prison term and $2,800 fine for offending judges during jailbreak trial.

El-Beltagy was accused of insulting the judge from inside the glass cage during the trial [Getty Images]

A senior Muslim Brotherhood leader in Egypt has been sentenced to six years in prison for insulting a panel of judges.

Mohamed el-Beltagy, who heads the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Part, was accused of offending presiding judge Shaaban el-Shami for a case in which he and 130 other defendants are accused of staging prison breaks during the January 2011 uprising that toppled longtime leader Hosni Mubarak.

El-Beltagy had protested el-Shami’s registration of evidence from within a glass cage used to hold defendants.

When the judge ordered him out of the room for causing chaos, el-Beltagy said: “This is not justice”.

The judge took his remarks as an insult, and found him in contempt of court for the second time since the trial began. El-Beltagy was also fined $2,800.

Last year the Egyptian government declared deposed President Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group.

Morsi and many of the group’s top leaders were arrested following his overthrow by the army and are now being tried on a wide array of charges, some of which are punishable by death.

Source: AP