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Lawyers of Egypt’s Morsi appeal death sentence

The defense team of Egypt’s ousted President Mohamed Morsi appealed Saturday against a death sentence and a prison term handed down to the Islamist former leader, official MENA news agency reported.

Cairo Criminal Court sentenced Morsi to death in mid-June over charges of participating in a 2011 jailbreak during mass protests that toppled long-time President Hosni Mubarak.

The court also handed over 100 other Brotherhood members and supporters, mostly in absentia, sentences varying from two-year jail terms to execution.

Besides Morsi, the death sentences included the Brotherhood’s top chief Mohamed Badie and other four leading group figures.

The Islamist lawyers also filed appeals against the death sentences and prison terms related to an espionage case in which Morsi was sentenced to 25 years in jail and 35 others were handed sentences varying from execution to seven-year imprisonment.

The defense team presented 180 reasons for challenging the previous convictions in both the jailbreak and espionage cases.

Morsi was removed by the military in early July 2013 in response to mass protests against his one-year rule and his currently-outlawed Brotherhood group.

Crackdown on Morsi’s loyalists since August 14, 2013 left more than 1,000 dead and thousands more jailed. The Brotherhood was blacklisted as a “terrorist” organization.

Meanwhile, anti-government terrorist attacks since then have left hundreds of police and army men dead, with “Sinai State,” a Sinai-based militant group affiliated with the regional Islamic State (IS) militant group, claiming responsibility for most of them.

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