Deposed Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi, was on Saturday sentenced to death by a Cairo court over a 2011 prison break, the CNN is reporting.
Egyptian authorities had accused Mr. Morsi and over 100 other co-defendants of colluding with Palestinian group, Hamas, and Lebanese group, Hezbollah, to break into prisons across Egypt in January 2011, facilitating the escape of Mr. Morsi and 20,000 others.
The former President’s name along with those of more than 100 other defendants – including the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, and a former speaker of parliament, Mohamed El-Katatny – will be passed to the Grand Mufti, that country’s highest legal authority, for confirmation or rejection of the sentence.
Mr. Morsi and his colleagues are at liberty to appeal the verdict in Egypt, which will be confirmed on June 2.
Another 16 defendants, the CNN reports, were also sentenced to death Saturday in a separate case bordering on espionage.
The television channel named some of the people sentenced to death to include Mohamed El-Shater, deputy leader of the Muslim Brotherhood; Mohamed El-Beltagy, a former Muslim Brotherhood member of parliament; Ahmed Abdel Aty, a former presidential aide; and Emad Shahin, a political science professor now in the United States.
“Those defendants present chanted “Allahu Akbar,” meaning “God is the greatest,” as they were sentenced to death. They remained in the cage where prisoners are held in the courtroom, waving to journalists and lawyers as they chanted,” the CNN reported.
Mr. Morsi had earlier in April been sentenced to 20 years in jail on charges of inciting violence and killing protesters outside the presidential palace in December 2012.
He was however acquitted of murder in the deaths of protesters.
Mr. Morsi, Egpyt’s first democratically elected president, was forced out of office by the military on July 2, 2013. He has remained under detention since.
After his removal, the military installed a civilian interim government and violently cracked down on protests seeking Mr. Morsi’s reinstatement, killing more than a thousand people.
The army-backed government outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood, branding it a terrorist organization while it cracked down on pockets of protests by the group’s supporters.
In May 2014, Mr. Morsi’s successor, former military chief, Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, secured a landslide victory in presidential elections which had a turnout of 46 per cent.