Egypt postpones final ruling on Morsi death sentence

Egypt postpones final ruling on Morsi death sentence
An Egyptian court Tuesday postponed its final ruling on ousted president Mohamed Morsi, who was sentenced to death along with dozens more over a mass jailbreak during the 2011 uprising.
2 min read
02 June, 2015
Morsi has only been seen behind bars since his overthrow [al-Araby]
Egypt's Cairo Criminal Court announced on Tuesday the postponement of the sentencing of the ousted Egyptian president Muhammed Morsi and 35 other Muslim Brotherhood leaders on charges of espionage for Hamas, Hizballah and Iran's Revolutionary Guard during the 25 January revolution in 2011.

The judge, Shaaban al-Shami had recommended the death sentence for Morsi on 16 May, a sentence that was then referred to Egypt's Grand Mufti for his advisory opinion, as a matter of procedure.

That opinion has now been received by the court, but the judge has decided, for reasons unknown, to postpone the sentencing to 16 June. The decision also included the sentencing for the separate case of a prison break during the 2011 revolution, involving Morsi and 130 others.

The espionage trial began 468 days ago, and has had almost 45 sessions, the first of which was held on 16 February last year. 

Other than Morsi, defendants referred to the Grand Mufti include Muslim Brotherhood leaders Khairat al-Shater and Muhammed el-Beltagy, activist Sondos Asem and professor Emad Shahin.  

The prison break case started almost a month before the espionage trial, and in this case Morsi was referred to the Grand Mufti to advise on his death sentence, as well as that of Brotherhood Supreme Guide Muhammed Badie, political leaders Saad al-Katatny and Essam al-Erian, and cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who is based in Qatar.

The sentences against Morsi in these cases follow a life sentence issued against him in the Ittihadiyah Palace case, referring to clashes between pro and anti Muslim Brotherhood demonstrators in December 2012.

Shami, the head of Cairo's Criminal Court, has previously released former president Hosni Mubarak, who was overthrown in the 2011 revolt, and imprisoned numerous Muslim Brotherhood leaders, as well as freezing their assets.