Morsi sentenced to 20 years in jail

 Former Egyptian leader expected to appeal verdict

Former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi was sentenced to 20 years in prison by a criminal court in Cairo on 21 April. Morsi was convicted in connection with the killing of demonstrators in clashes outside the presidential palace in December 2012, following a decree that awarded him sweeping powers as president. Morsi served as president from June 2012 until July 2013.

Along with 12 other defendants from his outlawed Muslim Brotherhood movement, Morsi was convicted of inciting Brotherhood supporters to use violence against protestors, as well as directing their illegal detentions and torture.

However the ousted president and Islamist leader was acquitted of premeditated murder – a charge that could have resulted in the death penalty.

Morsi is expected to appeal the verdict which has been described by senior Muslim Brotherhood figures as a "travesty of justice" and a "political farce". Human rights group Amnesty International condemned the trial as a "sham", while Washington has also registered its concern.

This is the first verdict received by Morsi from several significant trials relating to his year-long tenure as president, on charges including espionage and conspiring to commit terrorism.

Morsi was toppled on 3 July 2013 by the Egyptian army whose chief at the time was Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, now the president of Egypt.

Sisi accused the Brotherhood of using militant groups as a front to destabilise the country and immediately set about dismantling the 86-year-old movement. The Brotherhood was declared a terrorist organisation and the ensuing crackdown led to thousands of its members being arrested, hundreds of which have since received death sentences.

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