By Spy Uganda Correspondent
Cairo: An Egyptian court sentenced on Saturday the Supreme Guide of the banned Muslim Brotherhood group, Mohamed Badie, to life in prison over a violent 2013 incident, official media reported.
Along with Badie, Mohamed El-Beltagy, Safwat Hegazi, and nine others of the group’s leaders were sentenced to life in prison in a retrial over a police station incident in the coastal Port Said province that followed the ouster of late president Mohamed Morsi, according to state-run Ahram Online news website.
The retrial comes after the Court of Cassation canceled in 2017 previous jail sentences against the defendants and ordered their retrial, Ahram Online added.
The prosecution charged the defendants with the murder of five people, the attempted murder of 70 others, vandalizing public and private property, the theft of ammunition and weaponry from Port Said’s El-Arab police station, and inciting violence and chaos.
The sentence is not final and can still be challenged in front of the Court of Cassation, according to Ahram Online.
Life imprisonment is 25 years in prison according to Egyptian law.
Badie, the Muslim Brotherhood’s elected eighth chief in 2010, was handed a death sentence in another case for ordering the murder of 10 people in Cairo in 2013.
He also received life imprisonment verdicts in violence-related charges, totaling over 100 years.
In August 2015, Badie and 94 other Muslim Brotherhood leaders were sentenced to life imprisonment by the Port Said Criminal Court, of whom 19 were sentenced in absentia, with a further 76 on the run as fugitives.
An additional 28 others were sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in the same trial, with a total of 68 defendants acquitted of the charges.
What is Muslim Brotherhood?
In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood is a Sunni Islamist religious, political, and social movement –considered the largest, best-organized political force in Egypt, with adherents estimated to number between 2 and 2.5 million.
It was founded by Hassan al-Banna in March 1928, the group spread to other Muslim countries but has its largest, or one of its largest, organizations in Egypt, despite a succession of government crackdowns in 1948, 1954, 1965, and 2013 after plots, or alleged plots, of assassination and overthrow were uncovered.
Following the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, it first had great success. It launched a civic political party—the Freedom and Justice Party—to contest elections, which it described as having “the same mission and goals, but different roles” than the Brotherhood and agreeing to honor all Egypt’s international agreements.
The party won almost half the seats in the 2011–12 parliamentary elections, and its candidate, Mohamed Morsi, won the June 2012 presidential election.
However President Mohammad Morsi was overthrown after mass protests within a year and a crackdown ensued that some have called more damaging to the movement than any “in eight decades”. Hundreds of members were killed, and hundreds—including Morsi and most of the Brotherhood’s leadership—were imprisoned. Among the general Egyptian population, a “huge hostility” was felt towards the MB.
In September 2013, an Egyptian court banned the Brotherhood and its associations and ordered that its assets be seized and in December the military-backed interim government declared the movement a terrorist group following the bombing of security directorate building in Mansoura.