June 18, 2015 / 5:33 PM / in 2 years

Egypt's Mursi appeals against violence conviction: lawyers to state media

CAIRO (Reuters) - Former Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi will appeal against a conviction for violence, kidnapping and torture imposed by a court over the killing of protesters, his lawyers were quoted as saying by state media on Thursday.

Deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi greets his lawyers and people from behind bars after his verdict at a court on the outskirts of Cairo, June 16, 2015. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

In April, Mursi and 12 other members of the Moslem Brotherhood, including senior figures Mohamed el-Beltagy and Essam el-Erian, were sentenced to 20 years in prison without parole on the charges.

Two others were jailed for 10 years without parole.

Mursi, Egypt’s first freely-elected president, was toppled by the army in 2013 after mass protests against his rule. Since then he has faced several legal cases.

Egypt, the most populous Arab country, has mounted a crackdown on Islamists. Hundreds have been killed and thousands arrested since Mursi’s fall.

Mursi’s defense lawyers asked the High Court, Egypt’s highest civilian court, to dismiss the jail sentences and order a retrial for all the defendants before another criminal court, state news agency MENA reported.

The men were convicted on charges of violence, kidnapping and torture stemming from the killing of protesters during demonstrations in 2012.

On Tuesday, a Cairo court sentenced Mursi to death over a mass jail break during the country’s 2011 uprising and passed severe sentences against the leadership of Egypt’s oldest Islamic group.

The general guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, and four other Brotherhood leaders were also handed the death penalty. More than 90 others, including influential cleric Youssef al-Qaradawi, were sentenced to death in absentia.

The Brotherhood has described the rulings as “null and void” and the movement called for a popular uprising on Friday.

Reporting by Omar Fahmy and Mahmoud Mourad; Editing by Michael Georgy and Ralph Boulton

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