UK & World News

  • 28 April 2014, 11:57

Egypt: 683 Given Death Sentence In Mass Trial

A judge in Egypt has sentenced the supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood and 682 supporters to death in a mass trial.

The ruling follows the murder of policemen and several acts of violence linked to deadly riots that erupted across the country last summer.

Hundreds of people were killed when security forces disbanded sit-ins by Brotherhood supporters loyal to ousted President Mohamed Morsi.

His supporters have faced a violent crackdown since he was forced from power in July.

Speaking outside the court in the southern city of Minya, defence lawyer Ahmed Hefnisaid Monday's death sentences must first be approved by Egypt's mufti, the highest religious authority.

However, his opinion is not legally binding and can be ignored by the court.

The judge in the case also handed down a final capital punishment ruling for 37 of 529 Brotherhood supporters sentenced to death last month.

The remaining defendants were given life in prison.

The more than 1,200 defendants are accused of attacking both police and public property after security forces broke up two Cairo protest camps set up by supporters of Mr Morsilast August.

They are also accused of committing acts of violence that led to the deaths of two police officers in Minya.

The former president is on trial in Minya in three separate cases, including one for inciting the killing of protesters outside a presidential palace during his time in office.

Hundreds of people have been killed and thousands arrested since the Muslim Brotherhood was banned.

The government has declared the Muslim Brotherhood a "terrorist" organisation, a claim the group denies.

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