Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Mursi was sentenced to 20 years in prison without parole on Tuesday, nearly three years after he was declared Egypt's first freely elected president.
Mursi stood in a cage in court as judge Ahmed Sabry Youssef read out the ruling against him and 12 other Brotherhood members, including senior figures Mohamed el-Beltagy and Essam el-Erian. The sentencing was broadcast live on state television.
The men were convicted on charges of violence, kidnapping and torture stemming from the killing of protesters during demonstrations in 2012. They were acquitted of murder charges, which carry the death sentence.
Displaying a four-finger salute symbolizing resistance to the state's crackdown on Islamists, defendants chanted "God is Greatest".
The ruling is the first against Mursi, who says he is determined to reverse what he calls a military coup in 2013 staged by then army chief, now president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
After toppling Mursi following mass protests against his rule, Sisi proceeded to crush the Brotherhood, which he says is part of a terrorist network that poses an existential threat to the Arab and Western worlds.
The Brotherhood says it is a peaceful movement that will return to office through people power, even though demonstrations have fallen to a trickle.
Egypt's deep state apparatus -- the Interior Ministry, intelligence services and army -- now appears to have a tighter grip than ever on the biggest Arab state.
Source: reuters Photo: reuters