Cairo’s Criminal Court has decided that former President Mohamed Morsi, along with 105 other defendants, should die for setting free thousands of Islamists after the 2011 Egyptian revolution.
The bloody Natroun jailbreak allowed Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Hezbollah prisoners to escape — one of those was Morsi. After he was overthrown in 2013, a fresh investigation was launched into the prison break.
Al-Ahram reported that the verdict goes to the grand mufti for non-binding review before final sentencing on June 2.
Muslim Brotherhood leaders Mohamed El-Beltagy and Khairat El-Shater, along with 14 others, also received death sentences for spying for Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.
Morsi was also charged in that case, but his sentence won’t be announced until June 2.
If his death sentence in the jailbreak case stands, he will be put to death by hanging. He’ll also be the first Egyptian president ever to face capital punishment.
Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie was sentenced to death along with Morsi.
Islamist Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the ruling shows “Egypt is turning into ancient Egypt.”
“[Abdel Fatah al-Sisi] cannot be confronted. The West does not display a stance against Sisi the coup-maker,” Erdoğan said today.
The White House, which was displeased by the 2013 overthrow, had no immediate reaction.
After Morsi received a 20-year sentence last month for torturing protesters against his rule, press secretary Josh Earnest said the Obama administration was “concerned” by the sentence.
“Mr. Morsi, like all other defendants, must be afforded the basic legal right of due process. And the United States continues to be strongly opposed to politicized arrests and detentions,” Earnest said. “The United States will also continue to engage the Egyptian government on its political trajectory, and to raise human rights and political reform issues. There should be no doubt that these issues remain significant bilateral priorities for the United States.”