Alwaght- An Egyptian court has upheld a life sentence for ousted Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi on charges of harming national security by leaking secret state documents to Qatar while he was in office.
Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected after the country's 2011 revolution, was overthrown in mid-2013 by then-general Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, now the president, following mass protests against his rule. He was immediately arrested.
Egypt’s Court of Cassation reduced Morsi's sentence in the Qatar case to 25 years in its final ruling, from an original 40 years.
Morsi is already serving a 20-year sentence after being convicted for the killing of protesters during demonstrations in 2012.
Since toppling Morsi, Sisi has clamped down on dissent. Mass trials have been held for thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters, and hundreds have received death sentences or lengthy prison terms.
In 2014, Egypt charged Morsi and nine others with endangering national security by leaking state secrets and sensitive documents to Qatar. Egypt’s relations with Doha were already troubled by Qatar’s backing of Morsi.
Since 5 June, the four Arab regimes, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE and Bahrain cut diplomatic, transport and trade ties with Qatar, which they accuse of supporting what they call extremist groups, including Palestinian Hamas resistance movement and the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as having close ties with neighboring Iran.
Qatar has defended itself against the accusation saying the groups are not extremist, while insisting on having good ties with Iran.
The Saudi-led block later issued demands that Qatar must meet before ties are restored including curtailing its support for the Muslim Brotherhood, shutting down the al-Jazeera TV channel, closing a Turkish military base in Doha and downgrading its ties with neighboring Iran. Qatar rejected the demands arguing they are illogical and infringe on its sovereignty.