Sunday, March 1, 2015

Fourth life sentence for leader of Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood

An Egyptian court on Saturday sentenced to life imprisonment the head of the banned Muslim Brotherhood over the killing of protesters who stormed the group's Cairo headquarters in 2013. Three co-defendants of Mohamed Badie -- the Islamist movement's spiritual leader who already faces three other life terms from other cases -- were sentenced to death in the same trial.
© AFP | Egyptian Brotherhood's supreme leader Mohamed Badie flashes the "Rabaa" sign -- remembering those killed in the crackdown on the Rabaa al-Adawiya protest camp during his 2014 trial in Cairo
Mohammed Badie
Fourteen others, including Badie's deputies Khairat al-Shater and Saad al-Katatni, were handed life terms.
All were convicted on charges of "murder" and "incitement to murder" as well as possessing arms, but can appeal the verdicts. Badie and the other defendants present in court for the verdict denounced the sentence and shouted: "Down with military rule".
On June 30, 2013, protesters stormed and torched the Cairo headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood as millions took to the streets of Egypt demanding the resignation of president Mohamed Morsi.

Morsi, who belongs to the Brotherhood, was ousted just days later by then army chief and now President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi after one year in office.
Prosecutors said 12 protesters were killed when they clashed with Morsi supporters during the storming of the Brotherhood offices, while more than 90 were wounded.
Badie has already been sentenced by three separate courts to three life terms, and he was also handed two death sentences that were later overturned on appeal.
Since Morsi's overthrow in July 2013, the authorities have launched a brutal crackdown against his supporters leaving hundreds dead and thousands jailed after often speedy mass trials.
Morsi himself is facing several trials on charges that are punishable by death, while his Islamist movement has been designated a "terrorist group".

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