Egypt courts jail over 160 Mursi backers

 19 May 2014 - 6:55

Muslim Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide Mohammed Badie looks on during his trial at a court in Cairo, yesterday. Right: Brotherhood leader Mohamed Beltagy speaks during his trial.

CAIRO: An Egyptian court yesterday sentenced 126 supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Mursi to 10 years in prison each in a mass trial over protest violence, judicial sources said.
Another court, in Cairo, sentenced a further 37 alleged Mursi supporters to 15 years in prison for trying to set off bombs during a protest at a metro station last year.
The 126 found guilty in the northern province of Kafr El Sheikh were accused of rioting and attacking security forces on August 16, two days after police killed hundreds of Mursi supporters in the capital.
They were also charged with belonging to a banned group, a reference to Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood.
The army-installed government has rounded up thousands of Mursi supporters and held mass trials since his ouster in July last year.
The court in Kafr El Sheikh also sentenced six other people to a year in prison each, although the charges against them were not immediately available.
Judicial sources said that all those convicted in Kafr El Sheikh on Sunday were also fined 1,000 Egyptian pounds (about $143, ¤111) each.
A relentless crackdown on Mursi’s supporters has killed more than 1,400 people, and hundreds have been sentenced to death after speedy trials.
Meanwhile, a bomb explosion wounded four people overnight at a rally in Cairo for presidential election frontrunner Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, Egyptian security officials said yesterday.
Two policemen were among those hurt in the attack, the first targeting a rally since campaigning began two weeks ago for the May 26-27 election, said the officials.
The bomb had been planted in the ground under a tent that hosted the gathering in support of Sisi, who himself was not present when the device exploded.
Sisi, who is widely expected to trounce his only rival, leftist leader Hamdeen Sabbahi, has not addressed any public rallies so far during the campaign.
The former army chief led the ouster of Mohamed Mursi in July last year, after massive protests against his single year of turbulent rule.
Since then, the authorities have been waging a crackdown on Morsi’s now-banned Muslim Brotherhood in which more than 1,400 people have been killed and 15,000 arrested.AFP