Politics, Middle East

Egypt overturns death penalty against ousted president

Decision means former President Mohamed Morsi – in prison since 2013 military coup – no longer faces threat of execution

Egypt overturns death penalty against ousted president


By Sayed Fathi


Egypt’s highest appellate court Tuesday overturned a death sentence handed down earlier against former President Mohamed Morsi -- ousted in a 2013 military coup -- and ordered that he be retried for alleged jailbreak.

Morsi, along with five leading members of his Muslim Brotherhood group, were sentenced to death last year for allegedly taking part in a mass jailbreak during a 2011 popular uprising that forced autocratic president Hosni Mubarak to step down after 30 years in power.

Twenty-one other defendants were given life sentences in the same case.

On Tuesday, however, Egypt’s Court of Cassation accepted an appeal filed by Morsi and his co-defendants against the sentences and ordered a retrial, a judicial source told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to media.

Tuesday’s court decision means the former president -- who has remained in prison since Egypt’s 2013 military coup -- no longer faces the threat of execution.

Egypt's first freely elected leader, Morsi was ousted by the military in mid-2013 -- after only one year in office -- following protests against his presidency.

He is currently serving out three lengthy jail terms for allegedly "killing protestors" and "spying" for Qatar and Palestinian group Hamas.

He also continues to face charges of "insulting Egypt’s judiciary".

Like his co-defendants, Morsi maintains that all the charges against him are politically motivated.

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