Former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in court
Former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in court Reuters

A Cairo court has sentenced former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and 12 other defendants to 20 years in prison.

Morsi was convicted of inciting the killing of protesters, in an incident that saw 10 people gunned down outside the presidential palace in December 2012.

The court had acquitted the former president of murder charges, which could have sent him to the gallows.

Morsi also faces serious charges in three other cases, including an accusation that he passed intelligence to a foreign country.

Egyptian journalist, Yehia Ghanem, told Al Jazeera Tuesday the Egyptian government was sending a message that it would not tolerate any opposition.

"The whole thing was calculated politically from the start. It sends a message to Egyptians and the rest of the world that there's no future for any civil rule," Ghanem said.