Egypt court upholds life sentence for Morsi over spying for Qatar



An Egyptian court on Saturday upheld life sentence against the ousted president Mohamed Morsi over charges of spying for Qatar, State-run Nile TV reported.

Life sentence in Egypt is 25 years in prison.

The Court of Cassation, Egypt's highest appeal court, said the ruling against Morsi is final and not open to any appeal.

The same court upheld death sentence against three prominent figures of Muslim Brotherhood over the same charges.

The defendants were accused of sneaking classified documents to Qatar about the armed forces that harmed the national security.

The documents allegedly contained secrets on "national security," and were allegedly traded with the Qatari intelligence for a million dollars. The prosecution also accused the defendants of working for the "terrorist branded Muslim Brotherhood" organization.

Qatar was a main backer of Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood movement while he was in power between 2012 and July 2013.

Two other defendants also received life and rigorous imprisonment terms in the case.

This is the second time that Morsi got confirmed sentence.

On Oct. 22, 2016, the same appeal court has confirmed a 20-year prison sentence against Morsi on charges of violence and murder in 2012, when clashes erupted outside a presidential palace between his supporters and opponents, which killed up to 10 people.

Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected president, was ousted by the army in 2013 in response to mass protests against his rule.

His Muslim Brotherhood group has been designated as a terrorist group by the government.

Hundreds of the group received death and life sentences, mostly over violence, murder and spying charges.

Morsi has also been convicted in other cases.

On May 17, 2015, Morsi and 106 supporters of his Muslim Brotherhood received death penalties over a mass jail break following the 2011 uprising that ousted the long time ruler Hosni Mubarak.

But the death sentence verdict was overturned and now Morsi is facing retrial.

The ousted president, along with the Brotherhood guide Mohamed Badei and other seven members of the group, was sentenced to life in prison in June 2015 for conspiring with foreign militant groups Hamas and Hezbollah against Egypt's national security.

Yet, the fate of the case is uncertain.

On the Brotherhood page, the members commented that the verdicts are "an honor," adding it won't prevent creation of thousands of likewise courageous men.

Ahmed Ban, expert with Nile Center for political studies, and a Brotherhood dissident, predicted President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will pardon Morsi if finally Morsi reached execution.

He added both the country and the Brotherhood group will seek reconciliation, but each is waiting for more concessions.