Egyptian court upholds life sentence against Morsi
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Egyptian court upholds life sentence against Morsi

While maintaining punishment for heading illegal group, court throws out lesser charge against ex-Muslim Brotherhood president

Egypt's ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi gestures from behind the defendant's bars during his trial at the police academy in Cairo on May 7, 2016. (AFP Photo/Khaled Desouki)
Egypt's ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi gestures from behind the defendant's bars during his trial at the police academy in Cairo on May 7, 2016. (AFP Photo/Khaled Desouki)

CAIRO — A top Egyptian court upheld on Saturday a life sentence for ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in a case revolving around state documents leaked to Qatar, a judicial official said.

The Court of Cassation ruling, which is final, overthrew a 15-year sentence for Morsi on charges of stealing the documents, handed during the initial sentencing.

But it upheld a life sentence — 25 years in prison in Egypt — on the charge of leading an illegal organization, his lawyer Abdel Moneim Abdel Maqsud told AFP.

The ruling came after lawyers appealed the initial 2016 sentencing.

The court also upheld death sentences for three other defendants, a life sentence and a 15-year sentence for two others.

The trial hinged on accusations that the defendants had passed on state secrets to Qatar, an ally of Morsi’s Islamist government that has denounced his 2013 overthrow by the military.

Qatar has denied the charges.

Hundreds of Morsi supporters were killed during protests following his ouster. Thousands of others were detained in a crackdown that was later expanded to include leftist and liberal dissidents.

Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood has been blacklisted by Egypt as a terror group.

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