Egyptian court strikes down death sentence against former President Mohammed Morsi | News | DW | 15.11.2016
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Egyptian court strikes down death sentence against former President Mohammed Morsi

Former leader Mohammed Morsi will now be granted a fresh trial over allegations he orchestrated a 2011 prison escape. The charges against Morsi were brought by the formerly military government that deposed him in 2013.

An Egyptian appeals court revoked the death sentence against former President Mohammed Morsi on Tuesday and ordered a retrial. The deposed leader has been through numerous trials over charges that he orchestrated a prison break during the country’s 2011 revolution that ousted long-time strongman Hosni Mubarak.

Morsi and five other leaders of the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood organization were convicted by a criminal court in Cairo in July 2015. The Court of Cassation’s ruling means that now all six will be given new trials.

A total of 20 Muslim Brotherhood leaders were sentenced to death in the original trial, and a total of 93 party members were convicted in absentia.

The charges were originally brought against Morsi in 2013, after he was toppled in turn by a military led by now-President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. The change in government was followed by a crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood, long outlawed under Mubarak.

The ex-president's controversial legal troubles are myriad. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison for illegally detaining and torturing protestors, his only charge as of yet to be confirmed by Egypt's highest court. His 40-year sentence for leaking military secrets to Qatar can still be overturned and appealed.

Egypt's legal system under el-Sissi has been repeatedly criticized by the international community. The violent crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood has seen hundreds of death sentences handed out, although many of them have been overturned on appeal.

es/msh (AP, dpa)