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Egypt postpones Morsi death sentence ruling

June 3, 2015

A court in Egypt has postponed issuing a final ruling on a death sentence for ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. He was convicted with dozens of Muslim Brotherhood leaders last month over mass jail break in 2011.

Image: Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

The Cairo court said Tuesday it would instead announce a verdict against former President Mohammed Morsi on June 16.

Morsi and more than 100 other defendants, including Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie, were last month sentenced to death for plotting mass jail breaks during the 2011 uprising that toppled then-president Hosni Mubarak.

The ruling was referred to Egypt's top religious authority, the Grand Mufti, for an opinion. The mufti is routinely consulted before executions take place, although his advice is non-binding.

Judge Shaaban el-Shami said the court had received the mufti's opinion on Tuesday morning and needed adequate time to consider it.

Dressed in a blue suit, Morsi waved from the dock before the verdict's postponement was announced. He can appeal the decision if the death sentence is confirmed.

Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected president, was ousted in a military coup in 2013. Former army chief and current President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has since led a sweeping crackdown on his Muslim Brotherhood movement. The group has been banned, with hundreds of Morsi supporters killed and thousands thrown in jail.

nm/cmk (Reuters, AFP)