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Former Egyptian president Morsi sentenced to death

Former Egyptian president Morsi sentenced to death

Cairo: An Egyptian court on Saturday sentenced ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi to death in a 2011 a jailbreak case.

The Cairo Criminal Court on Saturday issued a preliminary ruling of death for Morsi and 105 other defendants in the trial known as the "Natroun Jailbreak case", Al Ahram online reported

The court has sent its decision to the country's Grand Mufti for a consultative review as required by Egyptian law, setting June 2 for a final verdict.

Morsi and the 130 co-defendants are accused of breaking out of jail during the 2011 uprising against then president Hosni Mubarak.

The court also issued a preliminary death ruling against Muslim Brotherhood leaders Mohamed El-Beltagy and Khairat El-Shater and 14 others in the trial of what is known as the Hamas espionage case. This verdict was also sent to the Grand Mufti for a consultative review.

Many of those sentenced were tried in absentia, including Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an influential Islamic scholar based in Qatar, Al-Jazeera reported.

In this case, Morsi and 35 others are charged with conspiring with foreign powers - including Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, Lebanon's Hezbollah and Iran's Revolutionary Guards - to destabilise Egypt.

The Grand Mufti's opinion is non-binding on the court.

The defendants retain the right to appeal any final verdict.

Morsi will be the first president in Egypt's history to face death by hanging if the court ratifies its initial decision on June 2 or he loses his projected appeal, the Al Ahram report said.

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