Egypt court upholds life sentence for former President in Qatar case

An Egyptian court on Saturday  has sentenced ousted President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood to 25 years in prison in a final ruling over a case accusing him of spying for Qatar. The Egyptian Court of Cassation’s ruling, which reduced Morsi’s original sentence in the case by 15 years, is final.

66-year-old Morsi is already serving a 20-year sentence after being convicted for the killing of protesters during demonstrations in 2012. Morsi, democratically elected after Egypt’s 2011 revolution, was overthrown in mid-2013 by then-general Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, now the president, following mass protests against his rule. He was immediately arrested.

The court also upheld death sentences for documentary producer Ahmed Ali Abdo, EgyptAir cabin crew member Mohamed Adel Kilani and university teaching assistant Ahmed Ismail Thabet, as well as a life term and 15 years for two others.

Since toppling Morsi, Mr Sisi has clamped down on dissent. Mass trials have been held for thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters, and hundreds have received death sentences or lengthy prison terms.

In 2014, Morsi and nine other senior officials were accused of “endangering Egypt’s national security” after highly-classified documents were leaked to Qatar. Egypt’s relations with Doha were already troubled by Qatar’s backing of Morsi. Some senior Muslim Brotherhood members were accused of sharing state secrets, such as the locations of the Egyptian Army’s weapon arsenals, with Qatari officials.

 

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