Egypt court overturns Mohamed Badie death sentence

Egypt court overturns Mohamed Badie death sentence
2 min read
11 February, 2015
Retrial ordered after appeal against death sentences for Muslim Brotherhood's spiritual leader and dozens of others accused of burning police station in Minya.
Badie was one of only a few present for the original verdict [AFP/Getty]

An Egyptian court has quashed the death sentence against Muslim Brotherhood's supreme guide, Mohamed Badie, and 35 others for their alleged role in the burning of a police station.

The Court of Cassation in Cairo on Wednesday ordered a retrial of Badie and his co-defendants after their appeal against the original verdict by Minya's criminal court in a mass sentence in June 2014.

Badie was one of only a few defendants present for the verdict, and many were tried in absentia.

The defendants were accused of involvement in the burning of Mattay police station in Minya, Upper Egypt, in August 2013 as Egypt experienced protests against the army's popular coup against Brotherhood-backed president, Mohamed Morsi.

The original mass death sentence were criticised by local and international rights groups.

The cassation court prosecutor on Wednesday advised that the sentences should be overturned and a retrial scheduled.

Mohamad Toson, a defence lawyer, said the Minya verdict was invalid because the defendants were sentenced despite the absence of lawyers.

He said a death sentence was passed on a minor, Imam Mohammad al-Adawi, despite Egypt's Child Law which prohibits life imprisonment or death sentences against children.

"The verdict was invalid because it was issued by a tribunal that has no jurisdiction... and it aimed to prosecute certain people in a case of violent clashes, denying the defendants from resorting to an ordinary court," Toson added.

The retrial order comes four years to the day since Hosni Mubarak was toppled in a popular revolt against his regime.

This is an edited translation of the original Arabic.