CAIRO (Reuters) - An Egyptian court sentenced the Muslim Brotherhood’s top leader Mohamed Badie to life in prison on Saturday while other members received the death penalty, as part of a sustained crackdown by authorities on Islamists.
Egypt has jailed thousands linked to the Muslim Brotherhood since the army removed Islamist president Mohamed Mursi from power in July 2013 following mass protests against his rule.
Badie was among 14 who were sentenced to life, alongside deputy leader Khairat El-Shater and leading figure Mohamed El-Beltagy.
Four lower-level members of the Brotherhood were sentenced to death on Saturday for inciting violence that led to the killing of protesters demonstrating outside a Brotherhood office on June 30, 2013, days before Mursi’s ouster.
Two of those sentenced to death and three sentenced to life were tried in absentia.
The death sentences are subject to appeal and many of the defendants are already serving lengthy sentences on other charges.
Once the top leader of the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, Badie has already been sentenced to multiple life terms, and was one of hundreds given the death sentence in a mass trial that drew international criticism of Egypt’s judicial system.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who as army chief toppled Mursi, describes the Brotherhood as a major security threat.
The movement says it is committed to peaceful activism.
Writing By Shadi Bushra; Editing by Stephen Powell