Egypt’s Mufti asked to rethink Badie ruling

Court asks country’s top cleric to reconsider rejection of death sentences for Muslim Brotherhood leader and supporters.

Badie had already received a confirmed death sentence in a separate case along with 182 supporters [Reuters]

An Egyptian court has asked the country’s highest religious authority to reconsider his decision to reject its death sentence against the leader of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood and 13 supporters on charges of murder and possession of firearms.

An Egyptian court sentenced Mohamed Badie, the Brotherhood’s general guide, and the other defendants to death on June 19, referring the verdict to the Grand Mufti, the state’s highest Islamic legal official.

Before death sentences can be carried out, Egyptian law requires the presiding judge to confirm them after referral to Shawki Allam, who can reject or accept the ruling.

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However, judicial sources said on Thursday that a final verdict in the case had been postponed until August 30, to allow the Mufti to reconsider his original report into the case.

The office of the Mufti, whose reports are not normally made public, had no immediate comment on the issue.

“The Mufti said that, in his opinion, the court relied solely in the case on investigations that were not alone enough to condemn the defendants,” Judge Mohamed Naji Shehata told the Reuters news agency.

Badie had already received a confirmed death sentence in a separate case along with 182 supporters in a case which triggered outrage among rights groups.

The democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood-led government was ousted from power by the army last year.

The Brotherhood has since been listed as a “terrorist movement”, with much of its leadership imprisoned, including former President Mohamed Morsi.

Its supporters have held protests against the government which replaced Morsi, often resulting in clashes.

Morsi has been in jail since he was overthrown and is on trial for inciting the killing of opposition protesters in December 2012, outside the presidential palace.

Source: Reuters