Former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and two other Muslim Brotherhood figures were sentenced to life in prison on charges of espionage for the state of Qatar while in office. The former President was also sentenced to an additional 15 years in prison, bringing the total amount to 40 years.
Six other defendants, who are also members of the Muslim Brotherhood, were sentenced to death by hanging on the same charges. Those sentenced to death include two Al-Jazeera employees and a Rasd writer who were sentenced in absentia. Sentences in absentia are subject to a retrial if the defendant turns himself in.
The charges related to the leaking of intelligence, military, and national security files and information to Qatar and to Qatari-owned Al-Jazeera.
This is the fourth case in which Morsi was sentenced to prison. Last year, an Egyptian court sentenced Morsi and 16 others to life in prison, which holds a 25 year sentence, on charges of espionage for the benefit of Hamas and Iran to undermine Egypt’s national security.
Morsi was also sentenced to death for escaping from prison during the 2011 revolution. Charges were brought against Morsi and other defendants for damaging and torching prison buildings, murder and attempted murder of prison guards and looting.
During the prison break trial, prosecutors had called the prison break as one of Egypt’s biggest ever conspiracies, saying that hundreds of foreign elements had been involved in prison breaks across Egypt in coordination with the Muslim Brotherhood. More than 20,000 inmates escaped from Egypt’s prisons during the 18 day revolution in 2011 say prosecutors. Prosecutors also alleged that 800 Hamas and Hezbollah members had entered Egypt through Gaza to carry out three prison breaks.
Morsi, who was deposed on July 3 after mass protests against his government, had won Egypt’s first free democratic elections since former Hosni Mubarak was toppled in 2011.
The deposed President was sentenced in April 2015 to 20 years in maximum security prison for violence outside the Presidential Palace in December 2012.