Badie handed life in prison; 6 others given death penalty in Istiqama Mosque Trial

Aaron T. Rose
4 Min Read
Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed Mohamed Badie (AFP File PHOTO / AHMED GAMIL)
Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed Mohamed Badie (AFP File PHOTO / AHMED GAMIL)
Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed Mohamed Badie

Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed Mohamed Badie was sentenced to life in prison for murder and attempted murder on 23 July, 2013 at Istiqama Mosque on Saturday. The same day, Badie appeared in court for inciting the killing of protesters at the Muslim Brotherhood Headquarters on 30 June, 2013.

In the Istiqama Mosque trial, Badie was found guilty, alongside 13 others, for complicity in the violent clashes which took place around the Istiqama Mosque in Giza on 23 July 2013.

Other defendants sentenced to life include Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) Secretary General Mohamed Al-Beltagy, FJP deputy-chairman Essam El-Erian, conservative preacher Safwat Hegazy, and former Supply Minister Bassem Ouda.

Six defendants tried in absentia were referred to the grand mufti after receiving death sentences.

In Egypt, those found guilty in absentia are automatically given the maximum sentence.

During the case, the prosecution likened the 14 defendants to those who defied the Prophet Muhammad’s leadership after his death.

The defendants and their defence team rejected the comparison, and considered it “libel and defamation” against them. The comparison especially angered Badie, Al-Beltagy, Hegazy and Ouda, whose loud protests prompted the judge to have them taken outside the courtroom.

The defendants were found guilty of murder, attempted murder, planning and taking part in an illegal assembly, vandilising properties and causing injuries. Defendants tried in absentia include senior Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya member Assem Abdel Maged.

“What will happen now is that they will appeal before the court of cassation. Those sentenced in absentia will be retried once they are arrested,” said defence lawyer Mohamed Damati.

There is a 60 day time limit to appeal after the sentence is issued.

In the Headquarters trial, postponed on Saturday to 8 September, Badie and his two deputies Khairat El-Shater and Mohamed Bayoumi, along with 15 other Brotherhood members are charged with inciting the killing of protesters, premeditated murder and possession of firearms, among other crimes, during the 30 June demonstrations that ousted former president Mohamed Morsi.

Several protesters were killed during the demonstration in which the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in Cairo’s Moqattam neighbourhood was burnt down. People on the scene reported they saw both live ammunition and birdshot being fired from the building.

Nine protesters were killed and 91 were injured during the clashes, according to state-run Al-Ahram.

Additional defendants in the case include Mohamed Beltagy, general secretary of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), and FJP vice chairman Essam Al-Erian.

Brotherhood leaders, including Badie and Morsi, are defendants in several other cases. Charges include espionage, prison break, insulting the judiciary, and inciting the killing of protesters outside the presidential palace in December 2012.

Mohamed Badie was arrested from a Nasr City apartment on 20 August, while Al-Shater was arrested on 5 July. Morsi has been detained since his 3 July ouster. His location was unknown until his first appearance in court on 4 November.

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Aaron T. Rose is an American journalist in Cairo. Follow him on Twitter: @Aaron_T_Rose