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Egypt's former President Morsi sentenced to 20 years

Former President Mohammed Morsi has been sentenced to 20 years in prison by an Egyptian court. He was accused of inciting violent protests that led to the deaths of three people in December 2012.

The Cairo Criminal Court handed down a 20-year prison sentence on Tuesday for the country's former President Mohammed Morsi. Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, was charged with inciting the violence between his security forces and protesters that lead to the deaths of three demonstrators. It is the first sentence Morsi has faced amid several criminal trials against him for alleged crimes committed during his presidency, including espionage.

The ruling can still be appealed.

Since Morsi's ouster as president in 2013, the government has brought many cases against members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Some have been sentenced to death.

Tuesday's sentence applies to Morsi and 12 other defendants being tried along with him. The defendants were cleared of the charge of murder, which could have carried the death penalty.

The charges against Morsi in this case centered around his role in protests that occurred on December 5, 2012. At the time, Morsi was less than a year into his term as Egypt's first freely elected president but facing protests against his rule. On the day in question, violent clashes erupted in front of the presidential palace in Cairo. In the ensuing clashes with security forces, three protesters were killed.

When Morsi was toppled in 2013, authorities initiated a bloody crackdown against the Brotherhood and their supporters, jailing thousands. Hundreds of people lost their lives in clashes with security forces. The Muslim Brotherhood itself was declared a terrorist organization by the government and outlawed.

mz/kms (dpa, AFP, AP)

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