After nearly two years since his dethronement from power, Egypt’s former president Mohammed Morsi faces the death penalty for inciting the killing of several protesters. It will be the first verdict against him since he was unseated.
He also faces a similar sentence in two separate trials, the verdicts from which is slated to be announced on May 16, including allegations that he spied for foreign powers and that he fled from jail during the 2011 anti-Mubarak revolt.
According to TIME, Morsi succeeded Hosni Mubarak, whose autocratic rule of 30 years ended with the 2011 revolution. Hosni’s ejection came after charges of killing hundreds of protesters against him were repealed.
Morsi became the first elected president.
After serving for a year, he was ousted by then-army chief and current president of Egypt, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, on July 3 2013.
The shift in power gave rise to a storm of political violence, where several of Morsi’s supporters were targeted. According to Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) News, 1,400 protesters were killed, and thousands were jailed amidst the violence. Subsequent mass trials, which the United Nations called “unprecedented in human history,” sentenced hundreds to death.
The Muslim Brotherhood was then accused of acting as a terrorist organization.
Mohamad Badie, the leader of the terrorist outfit, along with 13 others, were given death sentences for their involvement in forming conspiracy against the state. Seven of these accused are on the run.
Three people were killed and several were tortured in the violence instigated by the Muslim Brotherhood in front of the presidential palace on December 5 2012.
There is no substantial evidence to suggest Morsi’s involvement behind the attacks since a large number of people killed were members of the Brotherhood, according to defense lawyers.
H A Hellyer of Washington-based Brookings Center for Middle East Policy said that the chances of a death sentence being carried out are bleak.
He said, “The execution of Morsi would represent an escalation by the Egyptian authorities that they do not appear willing to engage in.
“Internationally, it will be received badly that an elected president overthrown via a military incursion into politics, even if that military is popular, is then dealt a harsh judicial sentence.”
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