Egypt court postpones verdict in Badie trial

Muslim Brotherhood leader's trial to resume in July as 10 others given death sentence in absentia for inciting violence.

    Egypt court postpones verdict in Badie trial
    Badie has already been sentenced to death once and faces nearly 40 cases that carry the death penalty [AFP]

    An Egyptian court has sentenced, in absentia, ten Muslim Brotherhood supporters to death.

    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 former President Mohamed 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 die 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.

    Morsi trial

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

    Along with Morsi, Badie, Beltagi 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.

    Morsi is due in a separate court in that case on Saturday. He is on trial for inciting the killing of opposition protesters in December 2012 outside the presidential palace.

    The deposed president also faces charges of espionage in collaboration with the Palestinian movement Hamas.

    In March, the same court that sentenced Badie to death triggered an international outcry when it handed down the same sentence for 529 alleged Morsi supporters on similar charges.

    The judge subsequently upheld 37 of those sentences and commuted the rest to life in prison.

    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 Morsi the army ousted Morsi in July, the military-installed authorities have launched a crackdown on his supporters that has left more than 1,400 dead in street clashes and at least 15,000 in prison.

    On Saturday, the Appeals court ordered the case to be transferred to the general prosecution for further investigation.

    The decision "means that the case is back to square one", human rights lawyer Amr Imam told AFP.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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