TIME Egypt

Egyptian Court Strikes Down Death Sentence for Former President Mohammed Morsi

Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi is seen behind the bars during his trial on charges of espionage on behalf of Qatar at the Police Academy in Cairo, Egypt on March 7, 2016.
Ahmed Gamil—Anadolu Agency/etty Images Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi is seen behind the bars during his trial on charges of espionage on behalf of Qatar at the Police Academy in Cairo, Egypt on March 7, 2016.

He will be given a new trial

(CAIRO) — An Egyptian court on Tuesday struck down the death sentence passed by a lower tribunal against an ousted Islamist president for his part in a mass prison break during the country’s 2011 uprising.

The ruling by the Court of Cassation means that former President Mohammed Morsi would be given a new trial, along with five other leaders of his now-banned Muslim Brotherhood group, whose death sentences in the same case were also quashed.

The court also struck down life sentences passed in the same case against 21 Brotherhood members.

Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected president, is implicated in four lengthy trials pertaining to different cases against him, including the 2011 prison break during the uprising against his predecessor, Egyptian autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

For the prison break, Morsi had received the only death sentence so far.

Last month, a court upheld a 20-year sentence for Morsi on charges arising from the killing of protesters in December 2012. It was the first final verdict against Morsi, who was ousted by the military in 2013 after just one year in office.

Morsi is also appealing life sentences he received in the two remaining cases against him — one on espionage charges related to Qatar and the other on suspicion of conspiring with the militant Palestinian Hamas group that runs the Gaza Strip. Those appeal proceedings are pending.

Morsi’s son, Osama, who is also one of his defense lawyers, welcomed the cancellation of the death sentence. “I am optimistic but I also don’t expect much from politicized judiciary,” he said.

He said his father has been in solitary confinement since 2013 and has been banned from any family visits or visits from lawyers.

“He lives in complete isolation,” the younger Morsi said of his father.

Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


YOU BROKE TIME.COM!

Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team