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Egypt: 4 years since Morsi received death sentence

Egypt’s first democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi is spending his seventh year in prison, and the fourth since he was handed a death sentence.

In 2015, Morsi was found guilty in the “prison-break case” which alleged that he had helped detainees escape jail. The trial was widely condemned by rights groups has not being free or fair and for not allowing Morsi and his co-defendants a chance to defend themselves against the allegations.

The case dates back to 2011 and is connected to events that took place in the context of the popular uprising that ousted long-time dictator Hosni Mubarak. Morsi came to power following Mubarak’s ouster but was removed himself in a bloody military coup in July 2013.

In December 2013, prosecutors referred Morsi and 130 others to the criminal court over accusations that included escaping from prison during the 2011 uprising.

The court case began in January 2014, and in June 2015 Morsi was sentenced to death.

The former president faced trial in multiple cases following the coup. The charges, which Morsi denied, included breaking into 11 prisons, killing more than 50 police personnel and prisoners, helping more than 20,000 prisoners escape detention, and attacking police stations.

Morsi was also accused of plotting with the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, Lebanon’s Hezbollah, and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard in attacking and breaking into prisons and police facilities.

In November 2016, the Court of Cassation, the highest appeals court in in the Egyptian judicial system, cancelled the death sentence that had been handed down to Morsi, as well as life and death sentences handed down to 26 other defendants, and ordered a retrial in another criminal court.

The retrial began in February 2017 and is ongoing. It has been adjourned until 19 May and all defendants are held in custody.

In October 2018 the court summoned former president Mubarak to testify. December the same year saw Morsi and Mubarak come face to face for the first time since the latter was ousted.

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