An Egyptian court Wednesday sentenced top Muslim Brotherhood leaders to life after a five-year trial.
Muslim Brotherhood Mourns Morsi’s Death in Turkey
The leaders were also top officials of late President Mohamed Morsi whose rule ended when he was ousted from power by a military coup in 2013.
According to Judge Mohamed Sherin Fahmy, 11 officials, including Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie and his deputy Mohamed Khairat Shater was sentenced to 25 years in prison on charges of espionage.
Five other defendants were sentenced to jail for seven to 10 years while six people were acquitted.
Essam Haddad, the former national security advisor to Morsi was sentenced to 10 years.
The trial started in 2014 and condemned by rights groups for being “politically motivated.” Initially, 36 people were being tried but the verdict excluded people who were being tried in absentia.
The 36 people were accused of masterminding the 2011 revolution. They were also accused of conspiring to topple the Hosni Mubarak regime by espionage and contacting foreign powers including Palestinian group Hamas, Lebanese Hezbollah movement and Iran.
Late President Morsi was handed a life sentence in 2016 in the same trial. He died in a courtroom in June after collapsing during a hearing on another case. He requested to speak to the judge about the case and died soon after.
Morsi was Egypt’s first democratically elected president who won the seat in 2012 after popular Arab Spring protests toppled Mubarak’s regime.
He was then ousted by a military coup led by his defense minister Abdel Fattah el-Sisi who later became the president of Egypt. After becoming president, Sisi cracked down on dissent and blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood and designated as a terrorist organization.