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Egypt court overturns Morsi death sentence

Morsi 2

Cairo, Egypt | AFP | 

An Egyptian appeals court has overturned a death sentence handed down against ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in one of four trials since his 2013 overthrow, a judicial official said.

The Court of Cassation ordered that Morsi be retried on the charges of taking part in prison breaks and violence against policemen during the 2011 uprising which toppled longtime president Hosni Mubarak.

Five co-defendants, including the supreme guide of the now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, who also received death sentences in June 2015, will be retried too.

Nearly 100 others who were tried in absentia are unaffected by the appeals ruling.

Last month, the same appeals court upheld a 20-year jail sentence handed down against Morsi in April in a separate trial on charges of ordering the use of deadly force against protesters during his year in power.

Morsi has also been sentenced to life in prison in two other trials.

In one, he was convicted of spying for Iran, Lebanese militant group Hezbollah and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas.

In the other, he was found guilty of stealing documents relating to national security and handing them over to Qatar, a longstanding supporter of the Brotherhood.

Egypt’s first freely elected civilian president, Morsi came to power after Mubarak’s overthrow.

He was toppled by then army chief and now President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi following mass street protests.

The Brotherhood has since been blacklisted and subjected to a crackdown that has killed hundreds of his supporters and jailed thousands.

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