Egypt court commutes Brotherhood leader's death sentence

Egypt court commutes Brotherhood leader's death sentence

Egypt court commutes Brotherhood leader's death sentence

An Egyptian court today commuted a death sentence against the Muslim Brotherhood's spiritual leader to life imprisonment in connection with a case for inciting violence after the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

Mohammed Badie, 71, was charged with killing at least nine people and inciting violence that injured 21 others in clashes near a mosque in Giza in July 23, 2013.

The court has also reduced the death sentence of seven other Brotherhood leaders.

In June, the Giza Criminal Court had sentenced Badie and 13 other high-profile Islamists to death in the case.

The ruling was sent to the Grand Mufti for review.

According to Egyptian law, the Grand Mufti must review capital punishment verdicts and decide whether to accept it or not, though his decision is legally non-binding.

The Mufti, then, asked the court to rethink about the ruling and decided to reject the death sentence against the leader of the banned Muslim Brotherhood group and 13 supporters on charges of murder and possession of firearms because there was no strong evidence.

The court has reduced the death sentence of Badie and seven other leaders, to life and confirmed death sentences to six other in absentia.

The Brotherhood was declared a terrorist group in December last year. It was accused of orchestrating a wave of violence to destabilise the country after the military overthrew Morsi in July 2013.

The group has denied any connection to the jihadist militants based in the Sinai peninsula who have killed hundreds of security personnel.

Since the ouster of Morsi, his group and loyalists have faced a state crackdown.

More than 1,000 people have been killed and 16,000 detained in a crackdown by the authorities on Morsi's supporters.

Badie had already received a confirmed death sentence in a separate case along with 182 supporters in a case which triggered outrage among rights groups.