Middle East

Egypt Brotherhood chief Mohammed Badie sentenced to death

Mohammad Badie after his arrest in Cairo. 20 Aug 2013 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mohammed Badie has led the Muslim Brotherhood since 2010

An Egyptian court has confirmed the death sentence on Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie and 13 others for planning attacks against the state.

The court also jailed a US-Egyptian citizen and 36 others for life.

Badie was sentenced in March and is embroiled in some 40 other trials. The sentences are subject to appeal.

Hundreds of people have been sentenced to death in a crackdown on the Brotherhood following the removal of President Mohammed Morsi in 2013.

However, so far only one death sentence has been carried out.

The court session was broadcast live on TV.

The sentences are the final phase in the trial which saw Muslim Brotherhood leaders charged with encouraging members of the group to confront the state and spread chaos following the dispersal of protests in 2013.

They were handed down following advice from Egypt's highest Islamic legal official, the grand mufti.

Two of the defendants were sentenced to death in absentia.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Egyptian trials have been criticised as political, but the government insists the judiciary is independent

Badie was already sentenced to death in a case last year related to attacks on police stations in the southern province of Minya. But the ruling was later overturned and a retrial was ordered.

US-Egyptian citizen Mohamed Soltan was sentenced to life imprisonment for supporting the Brotherhood and transmitting false news.

The son of Brotherhood preacher Salah Soltan, he has been on hunger strike for months and has received attention from local and international human rights organisations.

Critics describe the trials against Brotherhood members as politicised, but the government insists on the transparency and independence of the judiciary.

The August 2013 dispersal of the Rabaa al-Adawiya protest camps in Cairo led to the deaths of more than 600 protesters and several police and provoked international condemnation.

Many more died in subsequent demonstrations across the country.