Egypt court hands 19 Islamists lengthy jail terms over 2011 jailbreak

Main judge holding gavel./GETTY

An Egyptian court sentenced on Saturday 19 loyalists of the currently-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group, including the group’s top chief, to lengthy jail terms in their retrial over committing jailbreak and disorder during 2011 mass protests.

Cairo Criminal Court sentenced Brotherhood top leader Mohamed Badie and 10 other defendants to 25 years in prison and eight defendants to 15 years, while acquitting nine defendants in the retrial session, official MENA news agency reported.

The lawsuit was dropped for former President Mohamed Morsi, who belonged to the group, due to his death in court in June.

In mid-2015, in the same case, the court initially sentenced six Brotherhood leading members to death, including Badie and Morsi, and 20 other defendants to 25 years in jail. A retrial was later processed after their appeal against the verdicts.

The defendants faced charges of cooperating with members of Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah to break into Egyptian prisons and free their loyalists during the chaos of January 2011 uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak.

The prosecution said the defendants were behind the death of 32 prison guards and 15 prisoners, the escape of 20,000 prisoners and the abduction of four policemen and taking them to Gaza Strip.

Morsi was ousted by the military in July 2013 in response to mass protests against his one-year rule and his Brotherhood group, which was later blacklisted as a terrorist organization.

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