Muslim Brotherhood members gather in front th
Muslim Brotherhood members gather in front thAFP photo

A Cairo court on Sunday referred four Muslim Brotherhood leaders, who are on trial for the killing of nine and injuring more than 90 in 2013, to Egypt's grand mufti to consider the death penalty.

The defendants in the case include 17 Brotherhood leaders, among which are former Parliament Speaker Saad El-Katatni, Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie, and his deputy Khairat El-Shater, according to the Al-Ahram newspaper.

The top Brotherhood leaders involved in the case are not among those referred to the grand mufti, however, the report stressed.

The court has set February 28 2015 for a final verdict on the remaining defendants.

The defendants are accused of murder, inciting violence, and possession of live ammunition.

The sentences are the latest in an ongoing crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood which began in 2013 when the army ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

Last week, a court sentenced 188 defendants to death for a violent attack on a police station after Morsi’s ouster that left 11 police personnel and two civilians dead.

More than 500 people were sentenced to death in March for a separate attack on a police station in Minya on the same day.

In April, another 683 supporters of Morsi, including leading members of his Muslim Brotherhood, were sentenced to death as well.

The rise of mass convictions in Egypt has been described by the United Nations as "unprecedented".

The United States and the European Union have decried the mass convictions as well, but Egypt rejected the criticism, terming it “unacceptable interference in the judiciary affairs”.