Egypt Court Overturns Islamist Ex-President's Life Sentence | NBC Chicago
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Egypt Court Overturns Islamist Ex-President's Life Sentence

Since the 2013 military's ouster of Mohammad Morsi, he has been in solidarity confinement and has faced several court cases on different charges

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    AP, File
    In this June 21, 2015 file photo, former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, wearing a red jumpsuit that designates he has been sentenced to death, raises his hands inside a defendants cage in a makeshift courtroom at the national police academy, in an eastern suburb of Cairo, Egypt. An Egyptian court on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016, struck down a death sentence passed by a lower tribunal.

    An Egyptian court on Tuesday struck down a life sentence and ordered the retrial of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi on charges of conspiring with foreign militant groups, including the Palestinian Hamas which runs the Gaza Strip.

    The decision by the Court of Cassation in Cairo comes nearly 17 months after the initial sentence against Morsi, who hails from the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood.

    This is the second time Morsi wins an appeal. Last week, the same court overturned a death sentence against him in a separate case, one linked to a prison break during the 2011 uprising against Egypt's longtime autocrat and Morsi's predecessor, Hosni Mubarak.

    The court on Tuesday, along with Morsi's life sentence, also threw out life sentences for 16 other jailed Brotherhood members, including the group's spiritual leader Mohammed Badei. The court also overturned the death sentences against powerful Brotherhood figure Khairyat el-Shater and 15 others, most of who were tried in absentia.

    No new date has been set for the retrial.

    For the prison break, Morsi had received the only death sentence so far.

    Last month, a court upheld a 20-year sentence for Morsi on charges arising from the killing of protesters in December 2012. It was the first final verdict against Morsi, whose rule had proved divisive and who was ousted by the military in 2013 after just one year in office.

    Since his ouster, Morsi has been in solidarity confinement and has faced several court cases on different charges.

    The court rulings come at a time when Egyptian authorities, after banning and declaring the Brotherhood a terrorist organization, continue to crack down on the group's supporters and finances. On Monday, a justice ministry committee ordered the confiscation of assets of over 45 Brotherhood leaders and supporters.

    This story has been corrected to show that the name of the Cairo court that ruled on Tuesday is the Court of Cassation, not the Appeals Court.