CAIRO: An Egyptian court sentenced 42 supporters of deposed president Mohamed Mursi yesterday to prison terms ranging from three to 15 years on violence-related charges, a judicial source said.
The verdict was delivered by Said Youssef Sabry, the same judge in the southern city of Minya who last month sentenced to death 529 alleged Islamists in a verdict that triggered international outrage.
Yesterday’s sentencing of 42 Mursi supporters come a day before Sabry is expected to issue a verdict on another batch of nearly 700 alleged Islamist defendants for the murder and attempted murder of several policemen last August. Since the army ousted Mursi last July, a government crackdown has killed more than 1,400 people, mostly supporters of the deposed president, and jailed about 15,000. At least 1,000 people have been sentenced since December, all in groups of 10 or more and in often speedy trials.
Mursi himself and the entire top leadership of his Muslim Brotherhood are also facing several trials.
Meanwhile, the court will today pass final judgment on 529 Muslim Brotherhood supporters sentenced to death last month, in a case that has provoked outrage among Western governments and rights groups. The preliminary death sentences were issued on March 24 - just two days after the mass trial began — and relate to violence in which a policeman was killed in August in the southern province of Minya. The United States and European Union said they were “appalled” at the ruling. The trial had only one session - a one-hour hearing in which lawyers for the defence were prevented from presenting arguments, and the prosecution offered no evidence, rights groups say.
The court will also issue verdicts on another 683 people accused of violence last year in Minya, including Mohamed Badie, the Muslim Brotherhood’s General Guide, or top leader.
He is charged with crimes including inciting violence that followed the army overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Mursi last July. The session could mark the first major verdict against any Brotherhood leader.