An Egyptian court on Saturday sentenced the Muslim Brotherhood's spiritual leader Mohamed Badie to life in prison after religious authorities rejected the death penalty, in one of many trials of Islamists since their removal from power.
Badie, the Brotherhood's Supreme Guide, still faces the gallows after another court in southern Egypt passed a separate death sentence over deadly riots in August 2013.
In Saturday's ruling, a Cairo court that had sought to sentence him to death for violent protests in the Giza neighbourhood of the capital reduced the ruling to life in prison, on the recommendation of the mufti, the government's Islamic law expert.
More cases are pending against Brotherhood activists, including Badie and deposed president Mohamed Morsi, in relation to the wave of violence that engulfed Egypt last year.
Then-armed forces chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi toppled President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in July of 2013 after mass protests against his rule.
The government that took over after Morsi's overthrow cracked down on Islamists, with at least 700 pro-Morsi protesters killed in clashes with police in a single day in August 2013.
Thousands have been imprisoned and placed on trials that resulted in death sentences for more than 200 people.
The Cairo court on Saturday sentenced seven other Brotherhood leaders to life in prison, and six who were tried in absentia to death.
Those sentenced to death in absentia have the right to retrial if they surrender themselves.
With much of its leadership behind bars or in exile, the Muslim Brotherhood has persisted in organising small and sometimes violent protests across the country.
The government has designated the group, once the country's largest political movement, as a terrorist organisation, blaming it for militant attacks that have killed scores of policemen and soldiers.
The islamists deny involvement in the attacks, the deadliest of which have been claimed by an al Qaeda inspired group based in the Sinai Peninsula.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, Reuters)
Date created : 2014-08-30