An Egyptian court sentenced former president Mohamed Morsi to 20 years’ imprisonment Tuesday.
Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate who spent just over a year in office before his military-backed ouster in July 2013, was the first president elected in a free election after 2011’s Egyptian revolution. Tuesday’s charges were linked to the December 2012 killing of protestors, by Brotherhood members whom Morsi allegedly incited to do so.
During his year as president, many Egyptians accused him of “hijacking” the revolution for the Brotherhood’s own Islamist goals, as well as mismanagement of a country undergoing huge political and economic changes. In particular, during his presidency Morsi granted himself unprecedented powers and forced the passage of a new Brotherhood-drafted constitution.
Morsi’s supporters have criticized the post-2013 authorities, who soon after their takeover killed several hundred pro-Morsi protestors. And last November, charges were dropped against pre-revolutionary president Hosni Mubarak for his role in ordering police to fire on the protesters who forced him out of office in 2011.
Western media, including the Washington Post, have reported that the 10 dead in December 2012’s clashes, for which Morsi is charged, included Brotherhood supporters.
Other charges against Morsi are still pending, including for espionage and for breaking out of prison during the 2011 revolution.
During the verdict announcement, Morsi and his fellow accused were reportedly held in a soundproof glass cage. The enclosure was soundproofed after in previous court sessions Morsi declared himself to still be the legitimate Egyptian president.
12 other defendants were sentenced in Tuesday’s verdict, including several other chief Muslim Brotherhood officials. Seven of them, fugitives from Egypt, were tried in absentia.
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