Egypt Brotherhood members get death sentence

Ten Muslim Brotherhood supporters given death sentence in absentia while case against group’s leader is postponed.

Mohamed Badie is being tried in nearly 40 cases and has already been sentenced to death in one case [AFP]

An Egyptian court has sentenced, in absentia, 10 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to death, news agencies say.

All 10 were assumed to be in hiding and were convicted on charges including inciting violence and blocking a major road north of the capital Cairo after the army ousted President Mohamed Morsi last July.

The same court on Saturday postponed until July 5 the verdict in the trial of the group’s leader, Mohamed Badie, and scores of others for inciting violence that killed two people last summer.

Badie was one of thousands of Brotherhood supporters arrested in a crackdown following the removal of Morsi by the Egyptian army.

The organisation’s leader is being tried in nearly 40 cases, all of which potentially carry the death penalty, and has already been sentenced to death in one case.

In April, a court in the city of Minya sentenced him and nearly 700 alleged Morsi supporters to hang over the murder and attempted murder of policemen. 

A final ruling in those sentences is expected on June 21.

In Saturday’s case, Badie is accused of inciting violence in which two people were killed in the Nile Delta city of Qaliub, only days after the military takeover on July 3.

He faces charges of inciting murder, inciting the spread of chaos, and inciting attacks on public and private properties, according to defence lawyer Mohamed Abou Leila, the AFP news agency reported.

Saturday’s hearing was marred by chaos, as the 38 defendants in custody, including Badie, chanted anti-military slogans after entering the caged dock and were insulted by a witness.

Other defendants in the Qaliub trial include senior Brotherhood official Mohamed el-Beltagy, preacher Safwat Hegazy, two former Morsi cabinet ministers and two ex-MPs from the Brotherhood.

Along with Morsi, Badie, Beltagy and Hegazy are being tried on separate charges of mass prison breaks and attacks on police stations during the 2011 uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak.

Policeman’s conviction overturned

In a separate development, an appeals court on Saturday overturned the conviction of a policeman who was sentenced to 10 years in jail for the deaths of 37 prisoners from tear gas.

It also overturned suspended one-year sentences handed to three other officers over the August deaths of the prisoners, who were alleged supporters of Morsi.

The 37 died after the tear gas was thrown inside their closed police van when they were being transferred to Abu Zaabal prison near Cairo.

Since the army ousted Morsi, the military-installed authorities have launched a crackdown on his supporters that has left more than 1,400 dead in street clashes.

Source: News Agencies