Egypt overturns jail term for wife of Brotherhood leader

Court overturns six-month jail term handed down earlier against wife of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed al-Beltagi

CAIRO

An Egyptian court has overturned a six-month jail term handed down earlier against the wife of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed al-Beltagi, a judicial source has said.

In March, Sanaa Abdel-Gawwad and her son, Anas, were both slapped with six-month jail terms for allegedly assaulting a prison guard.

One month later, an appeals court overturned the latter’s jail sentence. Abdel-Gawwad’s appeal against her own sentence, however, was rejected by the court.

But on Sunday, an appeals court overturned her jail term as well and fined her 200 Egyptian pounds (roughly $25) instead, the judicial source told Anadolu Agency.

Mohamed al-Beltagi was arrested in mid-2013 following the violent dispersal of two Cairo sit-ins held in support of Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president -- and a Muslim Brotherhood leader -- who was ousted by the military after serving only one year in office.

Beltagi’s daughter, Asmaa, was killed during the sit-in dispersal, which left hundreds of pro-Morsi protesters dead.

His son, Anas, was slapped with a five-year jail term last week for arms possession, and his youngest son, Khaled, was also detained by Egyptian security forces last month.

The senior Beltagi, for his part, has been slapped with three separate death sentences for allegedly committing acts of violence and conspiring with Palestinian resistance group Hamas and Lebanon's Hezbollah with a view to carrying out “terrorist acts” in Egypt.

Since mid-2013, when Morsi was ousted in a military coup, the Brotherhood has remained the target of a harsh crackdown by the Egyptian authorities.

The crackdown, which remains ongoing, has seen hundreds of Brotherhood members killed and tens of thousands thrown behind bars.