Since the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi, he has been facing many charges. He received a death sentence in the “Mass Prison Break” case in May 2015, but the verdict was overturned by the Court of Cassation. Morsi and five other Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated defendants were all referred to retrials.
In November 2016, the death penalty for spying charges was overturned by the Court of Cassation, as well as the seven-year prison sentence for two other defendants, for conspiring with Hamas. Instead, a retrial was ordered.
Legal experts and lawyers had casted doubts about the survival of Morsi from the charges that he has been facing. However, Egypt Today sheds light on the four trials and the sentences that Morsi has received.
After millions of Egyptians took to the streets calling on Morsi to step down, Morsi was detained on July 2, 2013 and referred to trial on charges of inciting bloody violence.
Morsi had asked the Republican Guards and the Minister of Interior to break up a sit-in organized by his opponents before the presidential palace in December 2013. The investigations revealed that the Republican Guards’ commanders and the Minister of Interior at that time refused to obey his orders in fear of bloody results. Later, Morsi’s supporters broke up the sit-in with force, leaving over ten dead.
Morsi is accused of what the media has coined “the biggest case of espionage in the history of Egypt.” According to the investigations carried out by the attorney general, the International Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood, aided by Hezbollah militias and Hamas, were behind the violence that occurred within Egypt since 2011.
As a result, the Prosecutor General ordered the referral of Morsi to the Criminal Court in December 2013. Morsi was sentenced to death on charges of espionage.
In September 2017, Egypt’s Court of Cassation cancelled the 15-year prison sentence issued by the Criminal Court to former President Morsi, while it upheld the life sentence issued by the same court in different lawsuits falling under the umbrella of “Espionage with Qatar”.
The court referred the lawsuits against the chairman of Al-Jazeera, Mohamed bin Jassem, to the Public Prosecutor for investigation. The seven appellants included Morsi; his then-Office Director Ahmed Abdel Aty; former Presidential Secretary Amin Abdel Hamid El Serafy; documentary producer Ahmed Ali Abdo Afifi; production manager at Misr 25 channel Khaled Hamdy Abdel Wahab Ahmed Radwan; steward at Egypt Air Mohamed Adel Hamed Kilany; and teaching assistant at Misr University for Sciences and Technology (MUST) Ahmed Ismail Thabet Ismail.
In January 2014, Morsi faced another trial for the charge of breaking out of jail during the revolution of 2011, after getting backed by Hamas elements. The re-trial started 10 months ago upon the decision of the Court of Cassation.
The re-trial comprises 28 defendants, including Morsi; the Supreme Guide of the now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie; Badie’s deputy, Rashad Bayoumi; Guide Bureau Member Mohie Hamed; former Parliament Speaker Mohamed Saad El Katatny; and MB leader Essam El Eryan. The aforementioned names were all sentenced to death and 20 others were given life sentences.
The prosecution that started in 2013 took place over 23 sessions. The number of cars used for prison breaks in 2011 was 500, as indicated by the testimony of Major General Essam Lotfy, head of parcel 430 at Wadi El Natroun Prison.
The Administrative Chief of Abou Zaabal Fertilizers Company testified that three loaders were stolen from the company. These were used for a prison break at Abou Zaabal Prison, as revealed by investigations. During the first trial, 99 defendants were sentenced to death, while 21 were sentenced to life in prison.
On January 28, 2011, prisons holding terrorism defendants and other convicts were attacked by militants who trespassed into Egypt through its eastern borders to free prisoners, including Morsi. The re-trial judge is Chancellor Mohamed Sherine Fahmy. The last session was held in November when the court listened to witness testimony.
Contempt of court
On December 30, 2017, Morsi and 18 co-defendants were sentenced to three years in prison over charges of contempt of court.
According to the prosecution investigations, the convicts faced charges of insulting the judges and the judicial authority with their comments and speeches to media outlets; such comments and speech have insulting meanings to the judicial authority.
The investigations stated that Morsi, during his televised presidential speech on June 23, 2013, insulted Judge Ali Mohamed Ahmed al-Nemr, describing him as “an impartial judge.” Nemr was the presiding judge of a Cairo Criminal Court, which acquitted Alaa and Gamal Mubarak, sons of former President Hosni Mubarak, along with former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, over charges of corruption in the case known as “The Pilots’ Land” on December 19, 2013. He was also one of the supervisory judges during the 2005 presidential election.
The trial started on May 23, 2014, after being referred against Morsi in September 2014.