Gunmen kill 3 judges hours after Morsi's death sentence

Updated: 2015-05-17 10:10


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Morsi is accused of escaping prison with the assistance of domestic and foreign militants during the January 25 uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

The verdict was referred to the Grand Mufti, the country's highest Islamic official whose opinion is usually considered a formality.

The final verdict, which still can be appealed, will be issued on June 2.

Some 130 other defendants affiliated with the MB, Palestinian Hamas movement and the Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah group, also face trial in the same case.

They are all accused of breaking prisons, kidnapping and killing of police officers.

This verdict is the second against Morsi who was sentenced last month by the same court to 20 years in jail over ordering the arrest and torture of protesters in 2012.

Morsi is also facing charges of insulting the judiciary as well as delivering clandestine security and national information to Qatar, allegedly considered a supporter of the MB.

The Cairo Criminal Court has also sentenced to death 16 MB leaders, including the group's deputy chief Khairat al-Shater, over espionage charges.

The defendants were accused of conspiring with foreign powers, including Hamas movement, Hezbollah group and Iran's National Guard, to destabilize Egypt.

Right after announcing the verdicts, the pro-Morsi National Coalition to Support the Legitimacy urged for "a revolutionary wave that lasts until July 3," the day on which Morsi was overthrown.

In a press release, The coalition said it fully rejects Morsi's trial, stressing that activities will go on to free Morsi and topple the current regime.

The dissolved Freedom and Justice party, the MB's political wing, rejected the verdict and described it as "void."

The Egyptian judiciary is criticized by many international human rights organizations and local opposition groups of politicizing its rulings in favor of the current pro-army regime.

However, the government says it has no influence over Egypt's justice system.

Many of the outlawed MB members and secular activists are in prison awaiting trials relating to inciting violence, conspiring with foreign powers to destabilize Egypt and killing protesters, some of which carry the death penalty.

Dozens of members, including the group's leading figures, have been sentenced to death over violence charges.

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