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Egyptian court overturns Mohammed Morsi life sentence and orders retrial

Published 22/11/2016

Mohamed Morsi meets then prime minister David Cameron in New York in 2012
Mohamed Morsi meets then prime minister David Cameron in New York in 2012

An Egyptian court has struck out a life sentence and ordered the retrial of ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi on charges of conspiring with foreign militant groups, including the Palestinian Hamas which runs the Gaza Strip.

The decision by the Court of Cassation in Cairo came nearly 17 months after the initial sentence against Morsi, who hails from the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood.

Last week, the same court overturned a death sentence against Morsi in a separate case, linked to a prison break during the 2011 uprising against Egypt's long-time autocrat and Morsi's predecessor, Hosni Mubarak.

The court on Tuesday also threw out life sentences for 16 other jailed Brotherhood members, including the group's spiritual leader Mohammed Badei.

The court also overturned death sentences against powerful Brotherhood figure Khairyat el-Shater and 15 others, most of whom were tried in absentia.

No new date has been set for the retrial.

For the prison break, Morsi had received the only death sentence so far.

Last month, a court upheld a 20-year sentence for Morsi on charges arising from the killing of protesters in December 2012. It was the first final verdict against Morsi, whose rule proved divisive and who was ousted by the military in 2013 after a year in office.

Since his removal, Morsi has been in solidarity confinement and has faced several court cases on different charges.

The court rulings come at a time when Egyptian authorities, after banning and declaring the Brotherhood a terrorist organisation, continue to crack down on the group's supporters and finances. On Monday, a justice ministry committee ordered the confiscation of assets of more than 45 Brotherhood leaders and supporters.

AP

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