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Iran Press TV

Egyptian court orders retrial of Muslim Brotherhood top leader, other senior figures

Iran Press TV

Sun Sep 30, 2018 06:10PM

An Egyptian court has ordered the retrial of the supreme guide of the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood movement and some of its senior figures over an array of charges, including premeditated murder and violence during demonstrations five years ago.

The Cairo Criminal Court on Sunday issued the orders for 75-year-old Mohamed Badie and some other top members of the outlawed movement over the allegations of premeditated murder, attempted murder, beating to death of anti-Muslim Brotherhood demonstrators near its headquarters in June 2013, plus possession of unlicensed weapons.

Egypt's state news agency MENA said the initial allegations against Badie and 14 others in the case were incitement to commit murder and attempted murder, for which they had received life term, but it did not explain why the charges were modified. However, it said that according to the Egyptian law, charges can be altered if new evidence arises.

Badie, on trial in 35 cases related to the movement, has been handed multiple death sentences and five life terms, which is 25 years in Egypt, in a series of trials since Egypt's military, led by incumbent President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, ousted the first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi, also of the Brotherhood, in July 2013. Badie's death verdicts, however, have been overturned by the Court of Cassation.

According to Egypt's state news agency MENA, the retrials will start on October 7, adding that the retrials would only affect those in custody and not those defendants who were tried in absentia.

Earlier this month, Badie received a life sentence for allegedly inciting members of the movement to attack Maghagha police station in the southern Egyptian province of Minya and killing a police officer in August 2013. In August, he had received another life term in another case related to mass protest rallies in 2013.

Death penalties have been handed down to hundreds of Brotherhood members on charges such as belonging to an illegal organization or planning to carry out attacks.

Rights groups in Egypt and across the world have recorded cases of irregularities in the trials of political prisoners in the country. They say the army's clampdown on the supporters of Morsi has led to the death of some 1,500 people and the arrest of 22,000 others, including 200 people who have been sentenced to death in mass trials.

The administration of Sisi has outlawed the Brotherhood organization, which is Egypt's oldest opposition movement. The group operated under strict measures during the rule of longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak, who was himself removed from power following an uprising in 2011.

Morsi had been sentenced to death on charges of corruption, escaping from prison and inciting violence before the Court of Cassation overturned that ruling in November last year and ordered a retrial.

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