Egypt court sentences 10 Brotherhood
supporters to death: sources
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[June 07, 2014]
CAIRO (Reuters) - An Egyptian court
sentenced 10 supporters of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood to death in
absentia on Saturday but postponed sentencing of its leader and other
senior members tried in the case, judicial sources said.
Those sentenced were convicted on charges including inciting
violence and blocking a major road north of Cairo during protests
after the army toppled Islamist President Mohamed Mursi last July.
All 10 were assumed to be in hiding amid a state crackdown on the
group since Mursi's ouster. One of those sentenced was Abdul Rahman
al-Barr, a member of the Brotherhood's Guidance Council, the
movement's executive board.
Mohamed Abdel-Maqsoud, a well-known Salafi preacher who fled to
Qatar after Mursi was toppled, was also sentenced in absentia.
Death sentence recommendations in Egypt are passed on to the
country's grand mufti, the highest religious authority, for his
review. The court can ignore his opinion and its rulings can be
Judge Hassan Fareed said the verdict for the rest of the defendants
would be announced at a hearing on July 5.
Those 38 defendants include the Islamist movement's General Guide
Mohamed Badie and senior member Mohamed El-Beltagy, along with
former ministers from Mursi's government.
"Down with the military court!" shouted the defendants in the
Speaking from the cage where defendants are held in Egyptian
courtrooms, Beltagy yelled condemnations against the judiciary,
which he said was serving Egypt's militarized state.
He wore the dark uniform worn by defendants already sentenced in
other trials. He was given a one-year prison sentence in April for
insulting the judiciary, the first sentence handed to a leader of
the organisation since it was outlawed.
Egypt's biggest political force until last year, the Brotherhood has
been driven underground and declared a terrorist organisation.
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Badie was among 683 people sentenced to death in April.
Hundreds of Brotherhood supporters and members of the security
forces have been killed since Mursi's ouster and thousands detained
by security forces.
Secular activists are also in jail. The New York-based Committee to
Protect Journalists said last month 16 journalists were imprisoned
The military-backed government in place since Mursi's ouster accuses
the Brotherhood of turning to violence. The group denies that
Critics of the judiciary say it is a tool in a state crackdown
Courts have recently sentenced hundreds of the accused, often after
brief hearings where scant evidence is offered by the prosecution,
rights groups say.
(Reporting by Maggie Fick, Mostafa Salem and Ali Abdelati; Editing
by Tom Heneghan)
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