Mohammed Morsi in court
Mohammed Morsi in courtReuters

The Court of Cassation, Egypt's highest court, has overturned the death penalty to which former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and five other leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood were sentenced for their roles in organizing a mass prison break in 2011.

The prison break at Wadi Natroun prison occurred during the uprising against Hosni Mubarak's decades-long rule over Egypt. Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate, was elected president in 2012 after Mubarak resigned, but he was ousted by the military in 2013 after a year of chaotic rule.

Morsi and more than 100 other people, including many members of the Brotherhood, were sentenced to death in 2015 for their roles in the prison break, in which prison guards were kidnapped and murdered.

The Court of Cassation ordered that Morsi and the five Brotherhood leaders be retried and overturned the life sentences of 21 other Brotherhood members.

It was not clear why the death sentences were overturned.

Morsi is serving a separate life sentence for conspiring to commit terrorist acts with foreign organizations and further sentences of 40 and 20 years in prison for leaking state secrets to Qatar and for the unlawful detention and torture of protesters.