By Hussein Qabbani
Egypt’s highest appellate court Tuesday overturned a life sentence against former president Mohamed Morsi for conspiring with Palestinian group Hamas and ordered a retrial.
Morsi, along with 16 leading members of his Muslim Brotherhood group, were slapped with a life sentence each for allegedly conspiring with Hamas to carry out terrorist attacks.
Sixteen Brotherhood leaders were sentenced to death and two others were given seven years in prison 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.
Last week, the same court overturned a death sentence against Morsi on charges of taking part in a mass jailbreak during a 2011 uprising that forced autocratic president Hosni Mubarak to step down after 30 years in power.
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 protesters" and "spying" for Qatar.
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.