Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood Leader Given Another Death Sentence
An Egyptian court on Thursday sentenced Muslim Brotherhood chief Mohammed Badie and 13 others to death over violence that killed 10 people in Cairo last summer, AFP reports.
Since the army ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in July of 2013, hundreds of his supporters and Badie himself have been sentenced to death in speedy mass trials that have sparked international outrage.
The court is due to meet again on August 3 to give a final ruling, according to AFP.
Death sentences in Egypt are referred to the country's top Islamic scholar for an advisory opinion before being ratified and courts may commute sentences, which can later be challenged in an appeals court.
Other defendants include Mohamed al-Beltagui and Essam al-Erian, top leaders from Morsi's Brotherhood, as well as Gamaa Islamiya chief Assem Abdel Maged and well-known preacher Safwat Hegazy.
They were convicted of inciting violence that killed 10 people near Al-Istiqama's mosque in the Giza neighborhood, days after Morsi's July 3 ouster.
Since Morsi's ouster, his supporters have staged regular protests calling for his reinstatement, rallies that have often degenerated into street clashes with security forces and civilian opponents.
A crackdown on Morsi supporters has left more than 1,400 people dead in street clashes and at least 15,000 jailed.
Thursday’s verdict marks the second time that Badie has been given a death sentence. In April, a court in the central city of Minya sentenced Badie, who is being tried in some 40 cases, and around 700 others to death over the murder and attempted murder of policemen. A final ruling is expected on June 21.
The same court in March handed down the same sentence for 529 alleged Morsi supporters on similar charges. The judge subsequently upheld only 37 of those sentenced and commuted the rest to life in prison.
Badie has in the past called for a jihad (holy war) to liberate Jerusalem from Israeli rule. A recently released video of him shows him telling the court that his movement was not against Egypt but only against the Jews.
“We have fought only against the Jews, and Kamel Al-Sharif may testify about the conduct of the Muslim Brotherhood in the  war in Palestine. We fought against the Jews. The Israeli strategic research institute wrote in a report: ‘Our greatest enemies in the world are the Muslim Brotherhood.’ This is an honor for us, yet now we are being accused of conspiring with Hamas against the Egyptian people. This is an absolute lie,” he said.