By Derrick Kiplagat
Former Egypt President Mohamed Morsi was sentenced to death on Tuesday, on kidnap, killing and other charges, during the 2011 mass jail break. The Muslim brotherhood’s leader, Mohamed Badie, alongside four other top Brotherhood figures, were also handed the death sentence. 80 other brotherhood members were also sentenced to death in absentia.
Morsi’s lawyer has however pledged to appeal the sentence. Earlier on Tuesday, Morsi and Badie had both been sentenced to life imprisonment for conspiring with foreign outlawed groups such as the Hamas and Hezbollah, o stage a mass prison break and violent revolt against the country.
The court had first taken the verdicts to the Grand Mufti Egypt’s highest religious authority for analysis and verdict before issuing its final verdict. In May, the court had sought the death penalties for Morsi and Badie, along with the other Brotherhood members, who were convicted of killing and kidnapping policemen, attacking police facilities and breaking out of jail during protests against the then President Hosni Mubarak.
Morsi became Egypt’s first President elect, after the ousting of the long time autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Morsi was later overthrown in 2013 by the army after mass protests against his regime. Initially in May where there was a death sentence request by the court on Morsi and the other Brotherhood members, there was constant criticism from the United States of America and other Western countries and also human rights groups.
In a different case, Morsi has also been charged with endangering national security by leaking state secrets and sensitive documents to Qatar. Morsi has however said that the court is not legitimate, describing legal proceedings against him as part of a coup led by the incumbent President and the then army chief Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.
Since Al-Sisi’s government took over, there has been a crack down on the Brotherhood, an act which has left hundreds dead and thousands behind bars. Al-Sisi says the Brotherhood poses a great threat to Egypt’s national security. The group and its loyalists have however maintained that they are committed to peaceful activism.